Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – What Hard Work Really Does

Name: Joshua Parker Brohm
From: Longmont, CO
Grade: 12
School: Skyline High School
Votes: 0

What
Hard Work Really Does

I’ve
always loved helping people, and it has resulted in some of the best
opportunities of my life. I have worked on school programs,
photography competitions, and public events, but nothing has compared
to the experience of volunteering for Innovation Academy.

When
I was a freshmen, students were allowed to apply to volunteer at a
place called Innovation Academy. Once I found out what they did, I
was eager to volunteer my time to help with the program. Every year,
I have volunteered at the three week summer camp dedicated to
teaching young children useful life skills involving the design
process, constructive criticism, and teamwork. From 8 AM to 1 PM I
was one of the few volunteers who helped teachers in their
classrooms. I gave it my all, resulting in the development of a
relationship between myself and those who ran the program. Just this
past summer though, Innovation Academy stopped accepting student
volunteers, as they had decided to use students from a different
program called PTECH to volunteer. Though they were no longer
accepting applications to volunteer, Becky Peters, one of those
running Innovation Academy, extended to me an invitation to continue
my work with them.

Knowing
that such a massive program wanted me specifically to continue
volunteering for them made me ecstatic. While volunteering I; helped
out teachers, got kids to talk about their ideas, I also acted as
head volunteer, providing an example for the PTECH students, I
organized snacks for over 100 elementary schoolers, (and considering
how kids are, that’s no small feat.) Receiving this opportunity
made me really think about how I had gotten to that position. Why I,
of all people, deserved to be the only volunteer personally invited
back. After contemplating what I had done, I realized just how
valuable hard work is. I had put in so much work that I had been
going above and beyond their expectations. On the last day, I looked
in all the classrooms and noted how the kids were acting compared to
their first day. I saw how much they had opened up, they were more
confident and eager to share ideas. Some of the most shy kids I had
ever met, volunteering to talk in front of the class. I realized I
was one of the people who did that, I helped give these kids the
confidence and power to change our world’s future, and I have never
been more proud of anything in my life.

The
best way to improve, is to give more than possible. If you really
want to grow as a human being, you need to give more than everything.
You need to be the first to show up and the last to leave. I learned
a valuable lesson about what hard work really means, and I realized
that if you do something that you really enjoy and something you’re
passionate about, giving 110% feels like a second nature.


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