Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – To much is given, much is required

Name: Hailey Asturi
From: Plano, Texas
Grade: senior 2017
School: John Paul II High School - will attend University of Kansas in August 2017
Votes: 0

To
Whom Much is Given, Much Will Be Required

I
was recently notified that I will be receiving the Honor Cord for
graduation. I am one of 18 seniors in my graduating class to be
recognized with this honor. I was selected for demonstrating
outstanding character and commitment to service over the past 4
years. While in high school I have volunteered more than 500 hours
to a variety of causes. Everything from homelessness, breast cancer,
food poverty, health care for those in need, animal rights, and
disparities in socioeconomic status, clothing pantries, and disease
prevention. I truly offered my time and resources where ever I felt
called based up need. When I think specifically of my service
experiences over the last four years at John Paul II High School, I
often reflect on a verse in the book of Luke that says “to whom
much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). This verse
speaks to my heart and helps drive my passion to
Seek
and Serve
.

In
Collin County we live in a bubble of excess, extravagance and a
common high socioeconomic status. This type of lifestyle extends
beyond Collin County and spreads to the surrounding areas. We have
so many material items and have been given an abundance of
opportunities, often more than we realize. If we aren’t mindful,
we become blind to the needs of the community and believe everyone is
“just like us” and exists without need. In middle school I began
to realize this disparity when I began volunteering at my church and
through the National Charity League. The first time I served at our
church’s food pantry I was astounded by the number of people in our
community that weren’t able to provide the most basic need of food.
The people I interacted with looked just like my family. They
weren’t homeless, on drugs or criminals. They were hard working
individuals that had fallen on hard times or bad luck. For several
months after that experience I felt guilty about everything I had and
often took for granted. When I was going through confirmation we had
a discussion around Luke 12:48 and I felt a sense of passion and
purpose. I knew I was being called to make the best use of my
opportunities in order to glorify God. I knew the best way to do
that was to follow in the path of Jesus and focus on those in need.
I had to use my gifts and opportunities to help and impact the lives
of others. This was the spark that ignited my passion of service.


Being
a student at John Paul II provided the platform to fuel my passion
and purpose. While at JPII I have learned a tremendous amount
through my Theology classes and being a part of the incredible
culture. The foundation that was laid regarding my feelings toward
service were exponentially increased as a result of the education;
the daily reminder of my faith; my incredible teachers that educated
me but also shared stories of tragedy and triumph; and giving me a
level of confidence and feeling of self-worth that I never knew was
possible. John Paul II allowed me to translate my thoughts and
feelings into purposeful action. My opinions were expanded, my eyes
were opened, and my sense of accepting people and valuing diversity
became a cornerstone in my life. Most importantly my faith and
commitment to Jesus became the fabric of my being. As a result I am
a changed person, I am a better person. I feel prepared and ready to
go out into the world and make a difference. By serving my
community, by working with people in need, and through finding ways
to stay out of my “bubble”. When people see me I want them to
know I am the hands and feet of Jesus.


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