Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering for the city of purpose and pride

Name: Hector Arellano Jr
From: Richmond , CA
Grade: Senior
School: Richmond High School
Votes: 0


At the age of 14 was a witness of a gang drive by shooting in Richmond,
CA. I witnessed a young 17 year old male die in the hands of his
mother. This experience motivated me to make a change in my
community. Since the age of 4, this city has been my home, teacher,
and motivation. I chose to volunteer in the area of social justice
and became an advocate to end violence in my community .

From 2012-2015 I volunteered through STAND! For Families Free of Violence
15 hours per week discussing personal problems that affected students
in our community, youth workshops, and violence prevention
presentations for other teens. I also volunteered at Studio Solis as
a Martial Arts instructor that consisted of 10 hours a week helping
kids to memorize self defense techniques and getting them to kick and
punch properly. I also translated gym announcements in Spanish
everyday. I even joined Link Crew a program that focused on guiding
new freshman through high school with the goal of increased
graduation rates and producing college bound students. This allowed
me to participate more in the lives of younger students and allowed
me to become Link Crew President.

My biggest challenge was being able to step out of my comfort zone.
Being the center of attention when presenting or facilitating groups
has been the most difficult task for me. I used to have trouble
speaking in front of large crowds and would often forget what I
needed to say. I strongly believe that through my actions I have
truly learned to hold respect for all people regardless of race,
ethnicity, physical appearances, or even their current struggles.
This idea of thinking beyond the norm for me is “Forward looking”
which is defined as hardwork and dedication in the present to achieve
the results I would like to see in my future. When I come back in
ten, twenty, or even thirty years from now, I hope my interactions
with students in Richmond will have created some change for future
generations. I can say with pride that I have a passion that has been
growing since I began karate. I wanted to make a change, I have hope
and I have a vision for a city known for hate and crime, but in
reality is a “City of Pride and Purpose”.

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