Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – What I have done today that stay with me forever

Name: Sang Huynh
From: Portland, Oregon
Votes: 572

Everyday I wake up, looking around, there my pillows, there my bed, far there
is the door leading to that fragrant smell from the kitchen, where my
mom is cooking breakfast. Reaching to the radio, I turn on my
favorite show “Good Morning America”, silently thank life for
letting me wake up today, seeing everyone I love still happy, and
things around me are still intact. But I know out there, where the
front door open out are still unfortunate part of life who are
struggling everyday finding a help from others, a food to eat and
worrying where will their next meal come from. Those thought occurred
in me with a highly frequency since I moved to the United State two
years ago and push me to take the action closer to this community,
that was the reason I started to do volunteer work.

Three years ago, when I was preparing to go to the US, I have been bullied
for a long time, and the one who helped me out was a strange, poor
man who taught me how to forgive. After I moved to the US, again, I
have to live in the moldies so-called apartment that me and my family
didn’t have any choices but had cold shower while outside is
snowing, the electricity came out oftenly while we were having
dinner, none of us known english enough to call for help. And the
luck came again when the next day, a Vietnamese citizen lived nearby
our house asked for some rice and was offered to repair my home’s
water pipe… How ever the pass is the pass, now I can live in a real
home, with convenience electrical applicants, and I understand not
anyone is as lucky as I am, I can see myself in them, that was how I
found my way to volunteer work.

I am currently a volunteer at IRCO- Immigrant and Refugee Community
Organization, I have been doing this volunteer work since January
2016, 2 months from the day I moved from other state to Portland. I
chose to volunteer for IRCO because I feel sympathy with those people
who just arrive to the US, with old people who don’t know english,
again my mother who is also one of them that it helped me to have
more time to be with my mother and seeing her happiness. IRCO was the
community in which can help them to have an easier life, either not
to feel lost when they leave their home back in Viet Nam to come
here. In addition, we also help young children who were Vietnamese-
American to remember where they come from by celebrated Multicultural
night, Lunar new year or held picnics for them to associate with
other kids to learn more about their background and their pride of
tradition. My position at IRCO was organizator and installer where I
organize, order food, drink, and entertainments, performed
traditional performances…

I am also a Friend of Tree at David Douglas High School, I have become
a Tree Steward since March 2016, I chose to be in a tree steward team
because I love nature, I love to plant tree and sure, I feel satisfy
riding on a road seeing my trees that I have plants in Portland Area
grew up higher and higher. So far, there was just one time that we go
out and plant 10 trees in a significant place and I work there for 7
hours to plant trees, watering, move to others place and continuing
my work. My responsibility as a volunteer is to plant trees, keep
them balance in case of bad condition of weather and watering them.

My biggest challenges as a volunteer can be described as misunderstanding the
American tradition and also my English skill is still not very
influenced and sometime it cause me different kind of problem, but
just thinking of what I have passed on, I know I can get over it.

After finishing every volunteer work, I usually take a scale to measure my
satisfaction such as what have I done today? Did it work? In the
scale of 1 to 10, how do I describe my helpful with this community?
How was the connection between I and others? And how many smile did I
got today? The bigger the number, the higher my satisfaction. I am
not taking the volunteer work as a personal achievement but I see it
as a way to give a brighter future to either my self and the
community I am living in.

I have learned various things from my volunteer position, one of them was
communication, which was my weaknesses one year ago, and others was
the connection, the bond between us, to help make a stronger and
stronger community, for ourselves and for our next generation as well

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