Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – I not only help, but I bring them joy

Name: Aquinnah Richardson
From: Richmond, Virginia
Grade: 10th grade IB
School: Thomas Jefferson High School
Votes: 53

I chose to volunteer at a nursing homes and other various community
work. I chose working at the nursing home because my grandmother
volunteers there and it was something we could do together. It’s
another way for me to spend more time with her. I spend nine and a
half hours or so a month volunteering and doing community service
work. My responsibilities at the nursing home are setting up the
games and the gift table. I also assist the seniors with playing the
games. I have conversations with them and listen to their stories.
The biggest challenge at the nursing home is getting the seniors to
try something new. Some are resistance. I believe they are
just afraid because they do not know who I am or what’s going on.
I get the most satisfaction as a volunteer when I see them smile.
They look like they are happy and having a great time. I have
learned to be patient and to know that seniors are loving and caring
people that just want to feel loved. My interests and career goals
are aligned with that volunteer focus in more ways than not.

My first choice for my career is to become a cosmetic chemist. I want to
create hair and body care products. These products can be a way to
get the families of the senior to spend more time with them such as
doing their hair or painting their nails. I can create a body
moisturizer that can assist dry skin that many of us have. My second
career choice is to become a professional dancer. When dancing, it
brings great joy to me. I have performed praise dancing with my
church members at the nursing homes and the seniors were so impressed
with our routine. They were so excited. It gives them something
to look forward to. They are not able to leave the facility, so
we bring the entertainment to them. “Forward looking” means to
me is to do something now that will shape our future. I pray that my
actions will be recognized by others and everyone will begin to
spend more time the seniors. Besides, they paved the way for our
future. I hope to change the way other people treat the senior
citizens. Everyone has elderly family members. We all should
spend more time with them to show them that we care and love them.
We appreciate all that they have done. I hope in ten, twenty, or
even thirty, years my volunteer activities would have made a
difference by having more family members of the nursing home
residents and volunteers spending more time with them, learning from
them and the experience to make us a better person. We all will die
someday. I pray that the last years will be just as great as the
earlier years.

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