Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – How Helping Others Helps Me

Name: Kaitlyn Khayat
From: San Marcos, CA
Grade: 11
School: San Marcos High School
Votes: 0

Helping Others Helped Me

Ever since I can remember, I have gone to Bradley Park to watch the
fireworks on the Fourth of July. My dad was part of the Lion’s Club
and he helped run their concession booth as a fundraiser. The Lion’s
Club is an organization that provides vision, hearing, and scoliosis
screenings to the kids in my district. When I was in elementary
school, I loved the days the trailer was there because my dad built
it. I felt so proud to be connected to it through him. Although I
didn’t understand it at the time, a lot of kids can’t afford
professional screening, and this gave them the next best thing.

            As I moved into middle school, I started helping at Lion’s Club events
to fulfill my mandatory volunteer hours. Throughout middle school, I
consistently exceeded the required hours. During each year, I have
volunteered anywhere from 45-60 hours. I have continued to dedicate
my time to this cause not because it is required (it hasn’t been
since 8
th grade), but because it is a worthwhile organization that benefits
kids’ lives. As a volunteer, I have supervised the Leo’s club,
organized systems for distributing food at concession stands, acted
as a cashier for several years, shopped for necessary supplies,
disseminated information about the club’s activities, and
encouraged community members to donate money. Though I am passionate
about this cause, it has sometimes been difficult to work with the
older members of the club. Most members are in their 60’s and 70’s
and some are very old fashioned. Overcoming long-held beliefs and
proving to them that I deserve to be there and can help as much as
the next person has been a long road, but it taught me to see things
from other perspectives. I am blessed to come from a progressive
family, but I benefitted so much from being exposed to other walks of
life through these members.

However, my favorite part of helping by far has been the abstract fact that I
contributed to a project that gives kids the ability to receive care
they didn’t know they needed. When I was in 2
nd grade, I got glasses because my mom recognized that I couldn’t see
as well as I should’ve. Many parents do not recognize the signs and
fail to help their kids simply because they didn’t know. We are
helping to remedy this, and knowing that makes the Fourth of July sun
and hot dog smell well worth it. This cause will benefit kids
throughout their lives. Instead of being written off as not paying
attention when they can’t read the board, they now have a reason
with a very simple solution. This is a perfect example of a
forward-looking activity because it quite literally is the difference
between being able to look forward and see things, and not. But it
goes beyond that. It is an organization that thinks about the future
for these kids and helps them get the best start they possibly can.

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