Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Experience to Passion

Name: William Trinh
From: Beaverton, Oregon
Grade: 11
School: International School of Beaverton
Votes: 0

William Trinh

william@playonusa.org

(503)740-7910

Growing
up, my parents have continually reinforced the importance of
volunteering in my community. As a result, I have been able to
volunteer in many unique positions like mentoring kids at an
elementary school or helping supply rooms in a hospital. However, I
have come to realize that volunteering can only help people so much.
Over the past year, I have worked on establishing something
sustainable in my community, an opportunity for future generations to
build upon. After witnessing the lack of afterschool enrichment for
underprivileged youth and volunteering to coach at YMCA, my friend
and I founded PlayOn, a nonprofit organization that aims to create
access to afterschool sports for all youth. Through running free
afterschool basketball classes that teaches important life skills to
youth at elementary schools during junior year, we produced something
that had an immediate effect on kids. As president, I am responsible
for leading my peers and directing the future of the organization. We
could have stopped once we had fulfilled graduation requirements, but
our aspirations drove us to do better. I felt that abandoning what we
have achieved during my junior year would be fruitless to any
systemic change that we wanted to make in our community. I believed
in our potential to bridge a widening gap.


Since
then, PlayOn has become a tax-exempt organization that has grown to
have an influence on nearly 750 kids at 24 schools each week this
year. The organization continues to foster leadership opportunities
for future youth leaders to individually grow, while serving their
community. This experience has allowed me to leave a seed in my
community that would continue to grow even many years after I have
graduated high school. Fortunately for me. I have also been able to
cherish other experiences that have developed my self-efficacy.
Nonetheless, PlayOn’s development remains a big part. Completely
youth led, and supported by a corps of altruistic high school
volunteers, PlayOn is one of the things I am most proud of to date.
Certainly, without seeing the potential that we could achieve, this
would not have been possible. Volunteering in numerous opportunities
over the course of high school also has shaped my interests into
future endeavors that I want to pursue. From working at a Red Cross
blood drive to leading a nonprofit organization, these activities
have largely affected my character. Interacting with people from
different demographics peaked my curiosity in how humans behave and
function within society. Personally, I have gained a lot more from
these experiences beyond just completing a service opportunity. I
thrived from these interactions, learning more about the complexities
of my community while finding my role and fit within it.

Fortunately
for me, I have been able to cherish certain experiences that have
really solidified my interest in medical research. Biology class has
always been interesting to me. It is one of the classes where I am
more than willing to go beyond what is asked just because of my deep
interest in the subject. Another factor is how when growing up, my
parents have really reinforced the importance of volunteering in my
community tome. As a result, I have been able to work in many unique
positions like mentoring kids at an elementary school or helping
supply rooms in a hospital. However, I have come to realized that
volunteering can only help people so much. Some of the people that I
have helped directly or indirectly, are stricken with medical
illnesses that are currently incurable. I want to do what I can to
help them, but I cannot, no matter how much I help or give time to.
These experiences have shown me the severity of the work that
researchers do every day, progressing to a new discovery that could
help millions. The amount of help that they can provide to a plethora
of people is unbelievable. Consequently, as a result of these
experiences, I really have deep interest in a possible future career
as a researcher. The work that researchers do is outstanding, and it
is something that I want to be a part of in my lifetime.


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