Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Agents of Change

Name: Keemia Shariati
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Grade: Junior
School: University of California, Los Angeles
Votes: 0

Keemia Shariati


Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team
College Scholarship Essay

With its abundance of wealth
and academic achievements, Walnut Creek is a quaint yet picturesque
city capable of leading its younger generation on a path of financial
success. However, the prevalence of materialism and apathy sometimes
exists at the expense of selfless thinking. The forgetfulness of
those in my community to not only help themselves, but to help others
reshaped the way I perceived my surroundings. I was eager to enrich
my community with a devotion to serve that had been missing before. I
wanted to create an open atmosphere where younger youth could help
each other establish their own values and expand the powers of the
mind and spirit necessary to heal the ills of society together. With
that, a neighborhood junior youth empowerment program was formed.

Each week, I foster in my young middle school friends a sense of world
citizenship and a desire to serve humanity. As an animator, I help
stir a vivacious energy in these junior youth to devote themselves to
tasks like baking cookies for elderly homes, picking up trash and
planting trees at our neighborhood park, and creating empowering and
meaningful street chalk art. With weekly discussion topics such as
loving kindness, cooperation, striving for excellence, and the
importance of living a coherent lifestyle, the junior youth learn how
to integrate virtues, service, and self-expression into every aspect
of their lives, whether it be school, work, religion, family, or
friends. More importantly, we help each other reflect on the impacts
of our actions. Through this group, I’ve learned that in my
personal pursuit of guiding my junior youth on a path of service, I’d
be provided with an individual growth that would enable me to serve
the community more profoundly.

As a mentor, role model, and friend, I’ve realized my role in
developing a community in which service and unity impel people to use
their talents and abilities to help each other attain moral and
intellectual excellence. I coordinate and facilitate service projects
and art activities that help build the junior youth’s capacity for
meaningful social action in their communities. By incorporating
study, recreation, service, and the arts into my junior youth group,
I help these talented and creative individuals fulfill their twofold
purpose of advancing civilization and improving their own characters.
As an animator, I play a significant role in giving my junior youth
the self-confidence and empowerment they need in order to help them
recognize their importance within their neighborhood. By helping my
junior youth strengthen their moral and intellectual capacities, I
contribute to a culture in which junior youth are perceived as active
agents of social change.

As I watch these talents and powers emerge from the junior youth, I see
that they are able to critically
the needs of their communities and to identify acts of service that
can help transform their neighborhoods
They have a deeper sense of responsibility to be leaders in their
community. Seeing my junior youth group initiate their own
neighborhood character building class for the children, spreading the
desire to coordinate and implement their own service projects with
their friends, I am starting to see the connection between my actions
and the powerful impact they have on others. I understand that by
infusing teaching with service, I’d truly be contributing to the
betterment of society and expanding my own moral and intellectual

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