Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – How A Thin Scar Inspired Me

Name: Sara Elsaid Taha
From: Staten Island , New York
Grade: High School Senior
School: Fort Hamilton High School
Votes: 0

A thin scar running from the crease of the elbow to the wrist.
ever since I could remember, my father has told me stories about
fighting in the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. In the silence of night, he
would recount memories of his troop digging through trash in order to
find bread and soldiers repeatedly trying to escape the camps
I never once tried to escape,” he told me, I
knew I had to bear through it and be strong. Strength is key in
survival, if you weren’t strong you were dead
I remember listening to these intense accounts with adolescent awe
and thinking that my father was a strong, courageous, inspiring, and
intelligent person; a true leader. My hunger to succeed is inspired
by the perseverance and humility that is painted throughout the
canvas of my father
character, that has colored, not only my mentality, but the mentality
of everyone who exhibits his disposition. The evidence etched into my
s skin ingrains within me a burning desire to embody the traits of my
father that I was so awed by and apply them to for the better of my
school and community.

Being constantly relocated as a child due to persistent
bombings and the only one of his siblings to graduate from high
school, my dad expressed to me just how precious education and
community is.
In order to find my sense of community, I realized, all I had to do was
thrive to become a part of it. Starting out small, I became an active
tutor at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge and since 2009 have devoted
120 hours into the organization. By merging disparate cultures
together, I discovered a sense of purpose and identity at the
prospect of being the source of someones academic and moral
proliferation. Through the commonality of religion, I was able to
evoke to my students, not only knowledge of arabic studies, but a
sense of self and identity that I too once lacked. The furrowed brows
of confusion, followed by the widened eyes of comprehension, and the
pleased smiles at answering a question right; resonated within me a
ringing of my father
’ words and a duty to further my participation.

Hustling on, I became an active member and participating Senior Secretary of
my school
s Leadership team devoting to date 65 hours of community service. From
organizing football games, planning prom, and maintaing everything
from bulletin boards to announcements; I procured a greater awareness
of my ability and the limitless frontiers believing yourself can
unlock. Additionally I organize and conduct a number of philanthropic
events, walks and dances such as the Blood Drive and volunteering in
the NYC Marathon. The scar engraved on my father
forearm, along with my
communal participation, entices within me a
to heal the despondent and mend the dilapidated. Hence,
this spark of interest ignited within me a desire to pursue a medical
career in pharmacy. Divulging myself into the world of science, I
ascribed to numerous extracurricular activities that would expand my
mental and physical prowess and aid my future journey in the medical
world. While becoming the participating secretary of the Neuroscience
club, I also devoted my time and effort in the Medical Science club,
Model United Nations club, and the golf team. The mental vigor and
physical dedication these courses require aid in my growth as a
leader, speaker, and educator. I know, however, that my academic and
spiritual journey is far from complete and I believe that this
university can push me to make my dream tangible.

By taking the first step in volunteering, I pushed the door open and
stepped inside a whole new world of experience and community. By
relinquishing my knowledge and aid onto others, I was able to
effectively alter other people
lives, as well as mine. My journey has taught me to take incentive by
molding the world for what it should be and not merely settle for the
world as it is; 
and it all happened because of a thin scar running from the crease of the
elbow to the wrist.

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