Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Echoes of Kindness

Name: Sarah Catherine Jones
From: Slidell, Louisiana
Grade: Sophomore
School: Northshore High School
Votes: 0

isn’t something that can be explained in an essay. It is work that
comes from the very core of a person, the part of them that defines
who they are. I could sit here and tell you how I clock in over 10
service hours a week, how I head three service clubs, but that means
nothing, absolutely nothing, if you don’t know what volunteerism
means to me.

cannot explain to you how volunteering has changed not only me but
the people to whom I dedicate my time. I can tell you about the way
the second grader I tutor twice a week smiles a grin I would assume
would be toothy, if she had her front teeth, every time I tell her
how smart she is, even though she cannot read. I can tell you about
the way the woman whose house we rebuilt had a little tear collect in
the corner of her eye that caught the light in a way no jewel or
diamond ever could as she looked upon a house that she knew her
children would be safe in. I can tell you about the way chills seemed
to paralyze my body, like being frozen in a moment of pure serenity
and awe, as we listened to the Columbian orphans sang us a song of
gratitude. I can tell you that I care more than anything about
helping others. I can tell you that I want to dedicate the rest of my
life to helping people who cannot help themselves. I can tell you
that I want to work with doctors without borders. I can tell you that
I cannot afford a student loan if I plan on spending the rest of my
life giving instead of receiving.

can tell you all of these things, and it kills me that I have no way
to prove them to you. I know that I have not answered every question
in the aforementioned requirements. I know I deviated from the
rubric, but that was the point. I am being honest. I am being
genuine. I have taken upon myself a servant heart. I give without
hopes of receiving. This is a huge role reversal, and I find myself
in a position where I must ask for someone else’s kindness, someone
else’s resources to help me through a tough situation. I know that
this organization does not owe me anything, but isn’t that the
beauty of what we do?

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