Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – It’s Something I Already Do

Name: Mariah Jameson
From: Citrus Heights, California
Grade: 12
School: Bella Vista High
Votes: 0

It’s Something I Already Do

When I turned in a paper about a week of community service, my economics professor
looked skeptical. He asked why a high school senior would spend her
spring break traveling down the California coast to do work projects,
sleep on floors, and sing songs. I responded as I always do: I would
do it anyway.

Ever since middle school, I have been a helpful person at my church. Having grown up
there, I known where pretty much everything can be found, and if
someone looks like they need some help carrying boxes in, I grab a
box first and ask later. In my core, I am good natured and
helpful-which makes it very easy for me to volunteer my time. I
choose not to help once a year in a grand way, but to help once a day
in a very small scale way. Someone drops there purse, so I pick up
what fell out. A customer at work is short a nickel, so I supply one.
Someone has their hands full so I hold the door. These may be seen as
random acts of kindness, but I consider them service. This service
instinct is so ingrained in me that I don’t think twice about it at
all. So when the opportunity arises to do something on a grander
scale, of course I will.

My first mission trip was to La Esperanza, Mexico when I was 8-10, but my first trip that
made a difference was one that I took to the Tenderloin District in
San Francisco. I was an eighth grader, and I had never seen anything
like that before. I faced many challenges, such as trusting the
people around me and my own personal discovery. However, as the
weekend progressed, I found a source of undeniable joy whenever I
would help someone or see someone else helping someone.

When I got into high school, I joined our youth choir. We spend months preparing and then
we spend our spring break together doing service. No two years are
the same, and every year I get something new out of the experience.
The most important thing that I have learned from these trips is that
I want to be doing this for the rest of my life, which is why I have
chosen the path of a Youth Minister.

Community service will always help someone. This small fact makes every act of kindness and
service an act of “looking forward” because it is the people that
see us that will remember what we have done. And we will remember how
we have helped, and how it has changed us.

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