Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – At-Risk Youth

Name: Dominique Xavier McClinton
From: Brunswick, Georgia
Grade: 11th
School: Glynn Academy High School
Votes: 0

Who Care Scholarship Application

the past three years I’ve gotten the opportunity to be an intern at
the Gathering Place, a local community service and faith-based
organization. Through that internship I have volunteered doing
everything from cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew to playing the
piano and singing at a nursing home. This internship has given me
such insight into my community and its strengths and the issues that
face it.

My favorite
volunteering opportunity came during the last two summers, when I was
promoted from the Junior Internship to Doulos Internship. A big part
of the Doulos internship is finding a local business or organization
in which to serve as volunteer. I chose the local Recreation
Department’s Summer Youth Camp, where I was put in charge of the
fourth and fifth graders. I chose the youth camp because the at-risk
youth in my community have a special place in my heart. Countless
times I have watched
youth getting sucked into the gang
lifestyle, greatly decreasing any chance of changing their lives. My
heart was really struck
freshman year when a great
athlete and close friend of mine was involved in a gang fight,
arrested, and sent jail. He wasn’t even involved in the gang he
was just walking home with his brother who was involved in one. When
a couple of rival gang members attacked his brother, he did what any
person in that situation would do and tried to protect his brother.
That 5-minute fight has possibly ruined his chance of making
something more of his current situation. Now every time I get the
opportunity I look to positively impact the lives of at-risk youth in
my community. As the
summer went on, I began to develop a special bond with the group
kids. The bond was so special that my supervisor told me that she’d
been working there for the past 15 years and has never seen someone
who has the ability to understand the kids and get them to behave
like I did. It got to a point where when we went on field trips she
put me in charge of the problematic kids, because she trusted my
ability to understand and encourage them. I still talk to a few of
these kids today, and even their teachers say they have noticed a
difference in their behavior.
children taught me a lot about myself. After hearing about the
troubles they’ve dealt with at such a young age, I now realize how
blessed I am.

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