Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – The Power of Knowledge

Name: Elizabeth Currit
From: Kingsbury, Texas
Grade: 11
School: Home school
Votes: 34

The
Power of Knowledge

Elisabeth
Currit

April
27th, 2017

In
May of 2015 I started an organization to collect and donate
children
s
books to kids in areas of the world where books are largely
unavailable. Education has always been of tremendous importance to
me, so this project is very close to my heart! I began

simply
with the purpose

of
collect
ing
and donating books to children in the Philippines, where friends of
mine would then distribute them (even establishing a small library).

Since
then, my project has turned into something far greater than I ever
imagined!
I’ve
expanded it to include Mexico and the Refugee Services of Austin. In
much of Mexico and the Philippines, books and libraries are scarce;
access to good reading material is sorely lacking. Refugee children
coming to be resettled in the US often struggle to learn the language
and feel welcomed—I aim to help change that by providing them with
better access to books. I collect donations of used books from
members of the community and I also buy secondhand books to donate
.
Books open up a world of possibility! They open up endless
opportunities for the imagination and allow children to learn and
dream and see things from a new perspective. I’ve seen this
firsthand as more and more kids acquire a love of reading; the
difference it makes is almost unbelievable!
I’ve
served for about 170 hours. I plan to continue this project
throughout college and begin partnering with other organizations.


In addition, throughout my senior year of high school I
’ve
volunteered at a local cultural center as part of a program funded by
NASA—the Future Aerospace-Engineers and Mathematicians Academy
(FAMA). This program is designed to educate at-risk minority kids in
the STEM fields. I tutor elementary through high school aged kids;
I’ve volunteered 2-3 times a week for about 1.5 hours at a time
since August 2016. I’m responsible for helping kids with any
homework they bring in and explaining concepts they’re struggling
with. It’s often challenging to teach a child who is initially
unwilling to even give it a shot, but I’ve come to realize that the
rewards of patience and perseverance are incredible!

I
love helping these children gain confidence and feel empowered
through learning—my favorite moments are seeing a child’s face
light up the moment he or she finally “gets it!” Volunteerism has
helped me to understand the power of education and the importance of
instilling a love of knowledge in children. Education is the tool
with which these kids can—and
will—change
the world!

I
feel that my experiences with volunteerism have prepared me for a
lifetime of service. I believe “forward looking” means looking
towards the future with hope and facing it full on, without shying
away. It means being prepared and taking your own future into your
hands. It means thinking outside the box; breaking old paradigms and
transcending borders.


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