Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Striving To Make A Difference

Name: Quadejah Jacobs
From: Flint, MI
Grade: Junior
School: University of Michigan- Flint
Votes: 35

Striving
to Make a Difference


            Ever heard the saying “alone we can do so little but together we can do
so much”? Those words are what volunteering is all about. I first
began my volunteer experience in high school volunteering at my local
soup kitchen and donation center around the holidays providing hot
meals and clothing to those less fortunate. The rewarding experience
and the priceless feeling that you get from knowing that you had an
impact and helped make a difference in someone’s life was enough
for me to decide that I wanted to continue to volunteer and help
others. I’ve volunteered at early child programs aimed at providing
service for children with special circumstances such as disabilities,
poverty, and family trouble by sitting in classrooms assisting
teachers with daily task .I have also been a part of events where you
go and read to young children and encourage them to attend college
and strive to be whatever they want to be in life. My most recent
volunteer work has been dealing with issues going on in my
community. For those who are not aware of the water crisis that has
been going on in Flint, MI, back in around 2014 the people of Flint
were exposed to contaminated water that was unsafe to drink, cook
clean or bath with and they were exposed to high concentrations of
lead and bacteria that led to side affects such as rash, development
issues in children and even death in some cases. The issue is still
going on till this day and the government has not done much to help
solve the issue. I have gotten involved in this through volunteering
to help bring awareness and educate people on the severity of the
situation by speaking at different events and taking parts in rally’s
and petitions to simply passing out and delivering fresh water.
Volunteering from people actually helped make a difference and
although the issue is still not fixed, people are aware of the issue
and things are finally starting to happen after 3 years. That just
goes to show how much of an impact that people can make from
volunteering.

My biggest challenge and satisfaction as a volunteer are one in the
same. The challenge is that I can’t provide as much time as I want
but the satisfaction is the little time I can provide is enough to
help. From my volunteer experience I have learned that in addition to
making a difference, you meet some amazing people, form new
relationships and gain connections. As far as what “forward
looking” means to me, it’s looking at the light at the end of the
tunnel, having a postivie outlook on whats to come ahead , and being
innovative and one step ahead to plan for the future. This goes in
hand with volunteering because you have to be able to look at the
bigger picture and know that your time will result in a better
outcome.


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