Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – More Than A Step Team

Name: Nicolette Versailles
From: Brooklyn, New York
Grade: 12
School: Benjamin Banneker Academy
Votes: 0

Ever since I was
8 years old the importance of giving back to my community has been
one of the primary principles that my family has instilled in me. My
most enjoyable experience with community service thus far has been
through my involvement with my church’s step team, BOOTS. We live
by the mantra “More Than A Step Team” because we truly
believe that aside from bringing people joy with our performances, we
are charged with lending a helping hand to whoever may be in need and
spreading the word of God. I can recall the moment that I saw the
benefits of community service materialize right before me. BOOTS had
been invited to perform in Camden, New Jersey at a church and
participate in a service project they organized within the community.
We decided to choose New Jersey as our choice of service because many
times we decide to travel outside the country to help in growing
problems without realizing the issues in our very own backyards. The
first day of service involved us simply going to a train station
where many homeless people often gathered and handing out care
packages. On this day I met a young single woman with 6 children who
was unable to provide food or shelter for her children.  As my
teammates and I made sure she and her children each had enough care
packages, she began to weep and thank us for taking the time out to
help her and the numerous other people who were in distress. In that
moment my heart was filled with both joy and sadness. Knowing that I
was able to help put a smile on that young woman’s face and help
out just a little was comforting. However I realized that the
supplies we gave her would only assist her to a certain extent. That
encounter made me tremendously appreciative of all of the things and
opportunities I have been afforded in my life. The more people we met
that day, the more I understood how important community outreach is
in poverty-stricken communities. The biggest challenge for any
volunteer is wondering whether your actions would make a difference
at all. Many times we do an act of good and then return back to our
homes without realizing the significance behind it. From my own
interests of wanting to pursue a career in law in the near future I
ponder how I can create change myself. However giving back to
communities regularly alone fuels me with enough hope that in
whatever I choose to do I know that in the end I will be impacting a
life for the better. I walked away from that trip knowing that I had
so much more to give to the world around me and was proud that I had
dedicated such a large portion of my life to community service.

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