Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – For The Love of Reading

Name: Arianna Koufman
From: Pepper Pike , Ohio
Grade: Junior
School: Orange High School
Votes: 0

I have always loved reading and writing, they allow me to escape into
a world of creativity. Two hundred plus of my service hours have been
spent working on the Book Buddies program as a student leader. In
this service based program we meet with middle school and preschool
students in our school system. Once a week for five to six months out
of the school year we meet to promote a lifelong love of reading.

My involvement as a student leader has spanned over the past two
years and I have been an active member for three years. It is my job
to communicate with the teachers involved in the program and see what
work there is for me to do. My job includes, working on all the fine
details that need to get done and attending the preschool and middle
school programs. On average I spend one day after school on various
tasks for the program and I spend another two days at the preschool
and middle school. With my leadership comes a lot of responsibility.
I took on the task with full confidence that I could handle the
challenges ahead of me. I had to overcome the hurdle of delegation in
my second year as a student leader. This year, my second year as a
student leader, other high school students took more initiative in
the program and wanted to help. It was hard for me to trust their
abilities and not take the workload from them. Having to delegate my
tasks was tough but, it made me a better leader. I was forced to work
on my communication skills to guide and make sure the students I was
working with knew exactly what needed to be done. I can say I am
extremely confident in the work we did together. We worked diligently
to make the program as positive and influential as it could be.
Personally, I have worked extremely hard and have stretched myself
thin trying to get everything right. I do this so that the students
we work with can have the same love for reading as I do. We have won
a James Patterson Grant, been on the local news, and most recently we
won first place in our division at the Ohio Future Problem Solving
competition. We have had many successes, but our greatest achievement
has been changing how students in the community view reading.

Watching a middle schooler break their cool demeanor to share their
interest in a book is brilliant. Moments like that leave me without a
doubt that we have made a lasting impression in the community. In
future I will always look back and know we made a difference. To me,
looking forward means making a goal and working towards it. Because
of my service work I have chosen to work towards the goal of making
an impact in my community and maybe even the world.

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