Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – Under a Table

Name: Clara Shanabrook
From: Winchester, VA
Grade: 12th
School: Homeschooled
Votes: 0

Four years ago as I was discussing the education system with a teacher
friend, she mentioned a student in her class who needed focused
attention. Nine year old Andrew lived with a single parent, struggled
with learning disabilities and was unable to read. In addition he had
two older brothers already incarcerated, both before attaining their
high school degrees. This conversation inspired me to begin reading
with Andrew twice a week.

After a frustrating start, Andrew let me hide under a table with him, where
we played games with letters and sounds. Over the course of the year
he began to trust me, and slowly, he began to read. Andrew inspired
the creation of a tutoring program to engage at risk youth in active
and individualized education.
years later, six teenagers are working twice a week with more than
twenty students. Volunteering from Winchester to the Andes, I have
been inspired by the individuals I have met and been blessed with
their collaboration and life stories. Whether it be delivering
medical aid in the field, studying Satyagraha in a classroom, or
selling chai for Christmas for children in India, I am proud to do
this work both in my community and the world at large.

This maturation has been made in tandem with world travel and a developing
global perspective, experiences that have shaped my life goal, to
become an international humanitarian aid. Eventually I would strive
to meet my ultimate lofty goal, a career at the United Nations. While
my passions and desires appear at the moment to be clear, everything
has the ability to change. Perhaps in four years I will be in law
school at Harvard or interning for the UN in New York City. Perhaps I
will be sprinting through a war zone or sitting at a desk looking at
a single plot of the ocean. Perhaps the world will crash down around
me and I will be caring for terminally ill parents and living out of
my car after a fire destroys my home and social security card. The
world, beginning with college, is an infinitely scary and limitless
place, and while I hope after four years I will have changed and
discovered new passions, I know that my desire to help others will
not be shaken.

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