Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Clouds and Shadows

Name: Jania Andres Zenon
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Grade: High School Senior
School: Loyola University New Orleans
Votes: 0

Jania Zenon

Mccallum High

Austin, Texas

Seeing the difference between my thought
processes and those of elementary
school students’ is interesting
and intriguing; where I only see
clouds, they see patterns and
shapes; where I see a mere shadow, they see a
monster. At such a
young age, children haven’t yet been tainted by the
rationality of

As a cheerleading coach, I teach young girls between
the ages of three and
twelve different cheers and dances for about
10-15 hours a week. This volunteer experience aligns perfectly with
what I want to do in the future as I aspire to be a pediatric
cardiologist and work with children in order to provide them with the
ability to do the things they love without fear for their health.
When I first began, I automatically thought that, as the teacher, I
would be the dominant figure. As the weeks have passed, I have grown
to understand that the girls have instead been teaching me. They
have been teaching me how to see world and the community in which we
live in a new, unique way. From the beginning, they have
themselves and their opinions, indifferent to how it may
cause those around
them to react. It is amusing to see the
difference between the adults
reactions to their comments and the
girls’; to the adults, what they say is
insulting and they are
reprimanded because they are taught that way, but the
other girls
are fine because they haven’t been educated in the way of
etiquette like most adults. The girls have shown me how
to be bold with my
opinions and never fear the effect it may have
on how others view me.

I have grown up in a world where
everything a person does can be considered
negative and
punishable, but to these girls nothing is ever objectionable
to be penalized for. They all have taught me to look at things in
light and not through the lense that society has given me.
They have taught me to be a person who looks more towards what I can
do to be myself and help others, a forward-looking person.

I go through life, I will consider the different perspectives I can
have at
any given moment. I will look at a cloud and look for a
shape, I will look at
the shadows and fight the monster, I will
look at the negative and see the
Positive. This is an experience
that I will never forget for years to come as I feel that it made not
only a true difference in those girls’ lives, in the way they see
themselves and other people, but also a difference on me as I learn
to accept myself and help others to grow into themselves.

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