Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering with PAIR

Name: Solomon Fiseha
From: Houston, Texas
Grade: 12th
School: Lee High School
Votes: 0

Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home,
school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the
one you discussed in the previous question, even if this experience
also involved leadership. What did you accomplish? How did this
experience influence your goals?

Since I did not have a job during summer of 2015, I decided to volunteer at PAIR.
PAIR is a program that helps refugee students adapt into American
culture. This program takes refugee students in field trips and also
helps them learn how to read and write. I was one of the students who
participated in this program when I was in middle school as well as
in high school too.


When I became a volunteer at PAIR, I was shocked because when I used
to be a student there, I always wanted to help others. The moment I
became a volunteer, I started advising the kids, helping them read
and write. I know what the kids wanted to read and do because I was
once where they are now and I tried as hard as I could to make them
feel glad. The whole point becoming a volunteer was to help the kids
learn how life works in America and at the same time entertain them.
I wanted the kids to feel joyful every day they come and leave
contented to PAIR. When they come in, they do not dispute over their
different culture, I know this sounds shocking, but the kids, I
worked with came from all over the world and they never had any
conflict. One child came from Egypt and was a Christian while his
best friend was from Iraq and a Muslim. The Majority of the kids had
different language and religion from each other, yet they still loved
each other like siblings.

PAIR introduces a plethora of things into refugee student’s lives, especially love.
Love is what glues them together without dispute. I as a volunteer,
have accomplished many things during my time with the kids. I learned
how to use time wisely, received a certificate and gained dozens of
volunteering hours. While achieving these things, I also gained
leadership experience by heading into the museums, Houston Rockets
basketball games and movie theaters with the kids. It was a great
experience for me to get involved with the program that helped me
because I wanted to give them back what they have given me, an
opportunity to learn and have fun.


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