Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – The Moment That Changed My Life

Name: Zoha Husain
From: Manassas Park , VA
Grade: 12th grade
School: Manassas Park High School
Votes: 0

summer, I was visiting my family overseas and witnessed something
inspirational. My parents and I had been roaming around in the hot
weather all day and decided to stop by at a stall to purchase a
drink. My parents, wanting to introduce me to something new, ordered
a mix of carrot and beet juice. Unfortunately, unused to the taste, I
didn’t like it. During this time, there was a little kid who looked
about 10 years old knocking on our car window, trying to sell us
balloons for $0.50 each. From his petite frame and attire, I could
tell he had not eaten in a couple days. We rolled down the window and
bought some balloons from him, and I offered him my juice. Instantly,
his whole face lit up, full of surprise and gratitude, one that I
will never forget. He slurped down the juice within seconds. In that
moment, I was sure that I wanted to do something to help people in
poverty. While I had heard about helping people in need from my
parents, this was the reality check I needed. Witnessing this event
inspired me to take an active role in my community. While I tutor
kids at the middle school, help host fundraisers and plan
multicultural nights, my favorite activity by far is the family
market. The family market began a few years ago at our school when we
partnered up with SERVE. Our goal is to provide families in the
community with rations such as produce, bread, and other items to
fill their monthly needs. When the program first began three years
ago, many people did not know much about it. However, since the years
it has been implemented, there is now a long line of community
members that participate, either to volunteer, or receive aid. Held
once a month at our school, student volunteers sign up to package
food to make sure everyone is receiving an equal amount. Although a
ration of fruits and vegetables is not a lot to many, this may be the
difference between whether a low-income family eats or not, which is
why Family Market means so much to me. This event always reminds me
of the time I helped the little kid, and is very rewarding because it
allows us to make connections with the community. While it is one
thing to realize people need help, it is another thing entirely to
take action and bring about change. I truly believe that this small
contribution makes an impact in people’s lives. It allows community
members to come together and become one family. I hope that I can
only be fortunate enough to work towards a cause beyond myself for
the rest of my life. Even one act of kindness can go very far.

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