Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – A New Perspective

Name: Bailey Coleman
From: Mesa, Arizona
Grade: Freshman
School: Arizona State University
Votes: 0

Bailey Coleman

A New

The Watkins
Overflow Family shelter is a homeless shelter is Phoenix, Arizona
which provides stability, job assistance, and a helping hand to
families that need it most. In my senior year of high school, I
tagged along with my friend to help with one of their games night as
a volunteer. While I didn’t know it then, two years later I would
still be there 3 hours every Thursday night to help out. While I may
have only been playing board games or organizing activities for the
kids, I was learning more about others and myself that I ever thought

Just coming into
this shelter and choosing to come back again and again was one of the
biggest challenges. Facing these people, who tangibly had nothing,
but still kept their heads up, always moving forward was one of the
most inspiring things I have ever seen. It shapes you, and forces
you to look at the things in life that you take for granted. It was
this difficulty of self-realization that showed me what it important
in life. You see, when you physically have nothing, you are left with
only one thing: your character. How you move forward, and take care
of your family, it tests who you are as a person. Building
relationships with these people, building friendships, taught me the
most important things in life are who you are a as a person and how
you help other people. This experience has taught me to cherish my
life and opportunities, like pursuing an education in something I am
passionate about, as well as my friends and family.

Even though it was
difficult to see such hardship and pain, it was one of the most
satisfying experiences I have ever had. Knowing that just a
conversation with me, helps somebody. That just a few words eases
pain, even if just for a moment. That we as people matter, and what
we say and do and how we treat others matters. It was unbelievable to
see that change you can be. It has inspired me to go into family law,
and through the justice system help as many people as I can.

While it may only
be game night, it matters. In twenty years, I hope I will still be
able to see how much a simple conversation or a board game from a
friend can help somebody. Because just being a part of something,
having a friend, giving somebody something to look forward to, it
matters. When you are forward looking, you can move forward. Which is
what people in this position hope for every day. I am glad I can be a
part of people changing their lives, as the show me how I can change

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".