Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – It’s Not About What You Are, But Who You’ll Be

Name: Jesse King
From: Provo, Utah
Grade: College Junior
School: Brigham Young University
Votes: 2

It’s Not About What You Are,
But Who You’ll Be

The conference started at 9 a.m. and five hours later, I’d already
filled my notebook with notes. After seeing over twenty men and women
in suits go up to the podium, this man looked no different. “
of us create to-do lists to remind us of things we want to
accomplish. But people rarely have to-be lists,” he said. I want to
be a good person.

Should I volunteer because it looks good on a résumé? I volunteer because
I feel true joy when I can help someone. I’ve volunteered for
Medical Teams International sorting medical supplies. I’ve sorted
food donations for Community Action. I’ve mentored
middle-school-aged girls on self-esteem. I’ve assisted students
with learning disabilities in their math classes. I’ve practiced
language skills with missionaries who were going to travel abroad.
I’ve transcribed historical documents for a non-profit
organization. I’ve volunteered in various capacities in my church.
I’ve been a friend to those who’ve needed a friend. When I’ve
seen a need and I’ve acted on it. I started volunteering when I was
in middle school, and I’ve tried to make volunteering a priority
ever since. I feel more fulfilled when I reach beyond myself. On
average, I volunteer about an hour a week. Honestly, I’ve never
really had a challenge with volunteering. I’ve tried to make it a
priority in my life, so it’s never felt like a burden. The greatest
lesson I’ve learned from volunteering is that there’s always time
to serve someone. When I’ve taken time to give my time to others, I
always have time left over to accomplish what I need to.

As I move forward, I hope to influence others to have the same joy that
I get from volunteering. I want to go into journalism, which is known
for creating a “mean world syndrome” (people see the negative
things on the news and think the world is a bad place). Once I was
reading a magazine article that talked about a woman who opened up a
facility for the elderly with dementia. I thought this was a
beautiful sentiment. My volunteering experience has helped me realize
what kind of journalist I’d like to be. I’d like to influence
others by writing stories that highlight someone serving their
community. I want to help others see the good in the world and
encourage them to participate in that good. I think that I’ll look
back years from now and see that my volunteering made some small
difference. I hope that I’ll have made a difference in someone’s
life. People won’t know that I sorted the medical supplies that
helped save their lives. People won’t know that I sorted the food
that helped their family get through a hard time. I don’t expect
people to remember that I helped them with math or helped them learn
a language. I just hope that I’ll have taken every opportunity that
I could have to bless someone’s life—whether or not they knew
about it.

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