Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Where is the Love?

Name: Benjamin Kowallis
From: Chubbuck, Idaho
Grade: High School Senior
School: Utah State University
Votes: 0

“People killin’, people dyin’, children hurt can you hear them
cryin’?…where is the love?” The Black Eyed Peas explain how
every day across the world, there is always constant suffering. In
Sudan, children ages 8-12 work as slaves to pick cocoa on a farm.
After a 15 hour work day, they are chained to the ground and forced
to sleep in their own fecal matter. When they are older, boys are
normally kept while woman are sold into the human trafficking network
running all over Europe, Asia, Africa, and Mexico. I once came across
a 19 year old girl who was living under a bridge near my home. After
getting to know her over the course of 2 months at the refugee center
where I volunteer, she told me with great pain the same story I have
shared with you. I was 17 at the time I met her, and now 2 years
later, she has a small apartment, a steady job, and a few investments
made as well. At first I thought her story was a rare occurrence…now
two years later I have helped over 32 individuals who share a similar
story and countless others who’s stories aren’t as extreme to (1)
find a job (2) a place to live (3) create a social environment, and
(4) to develop a financial plan to enhance their quality of living. I
spend approximately 20 hours a week fulfilling these responsibilities
to help refugees from all around the world. Unfortunately, listening
to all the terrible things that some refugees have had to live
through takes a major toll on my own emotions; I’m still deciding
if I’d rather be happier and know less about the world. But then
something miraculous happens and the best part begins. After thinking
that there is too much evil in the world…we find love! Then all the
disaster we’ve been through is vaporized and success takes its
place. I’ve learned that there is no thing on this earth that can
quench humanity’s infinite potential. No matter what anyone has
been through, they can find a better life and will find love through
all pain. I hope to major in international business relations that
way the refugee center in which I volunteer at can partner with
businesses and corporations, both domestic and foreign, to help
individuals get out of any area that is dangerous due to drug wars,
human trafficking, or international war zones and help them get back
on their feet and prosper with the same dignity that everyone is
entitled to. “We’ve only got one world, one world…and
somethin’s wrong with it…where is the love?” I’m proud to be
a part of the love in so many people’s lives as a volunteer and
hope to evolve into an even larger network around the one world that
we live in so others will also find the love.

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