Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Reaching Your World

Name: Maiya Smith
From: Danville, VA
Grade: 12
School: Averett University
Votes: 73

Maiya Smith


My first experience with the concept of community service came from watching
my family. Grandparents, my father, my mother all giving their time
to serve my family by working, protecting and providing. They
provide these things for the betterment of their households. This is
the same concept we spread from our households and into our
communities. We offer protection and service for our neighbors, by
providing services that benefit something bigger than ourselves. It
benefits others first and in turn benefits us.

Our community is ours to keep safe. It begins as our immediate family and expands to
all areas that we, as individuals and groups, can reach. I have been
involved locally and in Jamaica. In Jamaica, I served with a group
called Son Servants, in a community in the middle of the island. We
constructed and installed roofs on homes. We reached beyond our
borders and served.

Locally, I am an active member of the Henrico County Emergency Response Team (CERT).
It is a disaster preparedness team that is ready to serve when there
is a need. There are many opportunities to serve, from assisting a
neighbor to weather emergencies and terrorist attacks. I have learned
in my time with CERT to provide service to family first and when your
family is safe and taken care of, then you can better serve your

My Papa and Nanny have lead their grandkids into adulthood by
implementing a camp every summer starting at the age of 5. It is an
amazing opportunity for our family to stay close. It is very
important to them for their grandkids to be honorable, well behaved
young adults. Over the years, they have taught me how to stay
motivated, work hard and believe in something bigger than myself.
They emphasized the importance of family. The lessons taught during
this week long camp every summer contributed to every fiber of who I
am and who I strive to be. These skills will help me pursue my goals
and keep me focused on having a career where I can help others and
help make the future brighter. I take great pride in family, being
disciplined, kind, and honorable. The importance of all of these
things has come from people who have taken time to share with me and
guide me. I will pay these things forward and make new memories as I
move through this next phase of my life.

I have worked hard with balancing school, community service, family,
work and friends. There are many community service opportunities in
college. I will work on campus with a work-study program and will
continue with community service along the way. When the foundation
of your life is strong, you can share that with others and provide
great service. I look forward to the privilege of college and all
that awaits me there.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".