Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – Community Involvement Essay

Name: Jade E. Williams
From: Rolesville , NC
Grade: Senior
School: Rolesville High School
Votes: 102

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the
only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have
sought and found how to serve.”
– (Albert Schweitzer). I
have been involved as a community volunteer as early as my elementary
years. As I am nearing the conclusion of my senior year in high
school, this quote has brought new meaning in my life as I reflect on
my broad involvement in the community as a volunteer. Holding
several leadership positions such as captains of Swim Team and
Lacrosse Team, Future Business Leaders of America, Y-Achievers,
Lifeguard, Water Safety Instructor, and YMCA Counselor, I am better
prepared to organize and implement any community service project that
I became involved as I educate myself about the diverse needs
throughout the community, both on the local and international level.

I currently volunteer services at intervals throughout the year in many
organizations and in self-created projects. For example, on some
designated Saturdays you can find me at the N.C. Food Bank sorting
food and bagging local potatoes for the needy. In my church at
intervals, I volunteer in making meals to end hunger as well as
making creative care packages for the homeless. One of the
highlights of my community involvement was in 2011 for my 11th
birthday when I was in the 5th grade. About a month before my birthday on April 16th
tornadoes devastated the Stony Brook neighborhood, taking the lives
of four children and destroying dozens of homes. This devastation was
an opportunity for me to brighten the world of children who lived in
this neighborhood which included schoolmates. I raised funds with
the assistance of my church for the children to participate in my
birthday celebration. We took children roller skating, shopping at
Walmart and to church with me. As part of the regularly scheduled
City Council meeting, Mayor Meeker proclaimed May 17 “
Williams Day
” saying, “(we) salute this young citizen and take comfort knowing that Raleigh will
continue to be one of America’s greatest places because of the
character of its people that she so vividly exhibits.”

The headline in the paper was
Raleigh Honors Girl Who
Gave to Stony Brook Children on Her Birthday
Another one of my self-created annual service projects I call
Christmas Party for Troops!” Each Thanksgiving I begin to collect items from a designated list to
send troops during Christmas anywhere in the world. I always enjoy
the presence of my friends who I invite to assist me during a
celebration in my home. I mail these packages with monetary
contributions from family and friends. Still another community
volunteer opportunity is through my summer involvement with Camp High
in Wake Forest that is operated through the Kerr Family
YMCA. It is fully subsidized summer day camp for children in select
neighborhoods and communities around northeast Wake County and the
Wake Forest area, or who qualify on a needs basis.
As an excellent African American swimmer, the children were
intrigued as they observed me swimming! Therefore, I created a
program called
“Swim for Life” to teach them how to swim during day camp.

My many community and volunteer work has taught me the many benefits of
learning not only from teachers, but also from fellow classmates,
partners in the community, and individuals at volunteer sites,
regardless of their age or educational background. It has also taught
me to be an active member of our community and to share the burdens
and responsibilities that go along with that role — caring about
the living conditions of others. Through volunteering I have learned
that many organizations exist only with the help of volunteers from
the community, I have seen the amount of joy that volunteering brings
to those who you are helping. Volunteerism allows me to take the
focus off myself and devote my time and energy to others that are in
need. And on the other hand, it allows me to be a positive influence
for other young people. This influence instills self esteem, team
work, leadership skills and confidence as I discover a feeling of
self-satisfaction. From the quote in the beginning, I am truly happy
that I have sought and found how to serve.

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