Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2018 – …And So She Tried to Save Them

Name: Zion Walker
From: Jonesboro, Georgia
Grade: 11th
School: Jonesboro High school
Votes: 102

Over the course of my last three years in high school I have been blessed
with the opportunity to work on so many volunteer projects. They
range from feeding the homeless to even going back to my former
elementary school with some friends to help out with their field day.
Although I know those are experiences that I will never forget, the
most impactful community service project I have ever been apart of is
one I formed myself.

During the fall of my junior year of high school I decided I wanted to try
something new. Breast Cancer awareness is something that is
substantially important to me because the disease has made its
presence known close to home; my mother died of breast cancer when I
was 11, and I have many family members who currently suffer from or
have been treated for the disease. Because of this, I decided that I
wanted to make an impact by selling breast cancer shirts and hats.
All the proceeds from the project would go to a breast cancer
foundation in my neighborhood called “Pink Posse.” This
organization helps breast cancer patients pay their bills after
they’ve been diagnosed with the illness. During this particular
project I was not working with a club or organization because it was
something I wanted to do on my own. I decided to have these items
made for anyone to buy then got the word out through social media.
The turnout was amazing and I am so grateful that people
participated. This experience taught me that people are willing to
support a worthy cause and I knew that if people were going to be
sick, the least I could do is make sure that all they have to worry
about is getting better. It really was an honor to be able to give
back to a community that has given me so much.

Getting everything done took quite a bit of work. I decided I wanted to sell
the items and raise money for the month of October because that is
breast cancer awareness month. Overall I do not know exactly how much
time I spent on this project, but I spent a few weeks trying to
figure out what design I would use for the shirts and the hats. As
well as who was going to make them and who would help me get the word
out. My biggest challenge during this process was making sure people
knew about what I was trying to accomplish through this project. A
lot of people thought I was doing this for personal gain I had to
make sure people were excited about this cause, which was entirely to
help raise awareness and offer aid to the women and even the few men
fighting to beat the cancer. Another Challenge for me was getting the
items shipped out to people that did not live near me. At certain
times, I did not have the resources for everyone to get their shirts
on time. Despite it all, I persevered.

I want to do this project again next October and when I do I want it to
be even bigger. I have more ideas and I will ensure that those ideas
are executed with skill and organization. I hope to expand to the
point where one day I can organize a Breast Cancer awareness Gala,
and maybe even my own Breast Cancer awareness foundation/charity.

What “forward looking” means to me is building a better future not
only for ourselves but for those who are coming after us. It means no
matter how chaotic the world gets we have to let go of the turmoil so
we can focus on the things that save us daily. It means to help
people find things that will eventually save them. I hope to do that
through ALL my volunteer service, not just the Breast cancer items I
sold. I want people to know that one small act of kindness can change
the world. As Tupac Shakur once said, “I’m not saying I’m gonna
change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that
will change the world.” Making a difference will never have a time
limit. Serving others is what we were put on this earth to do and I
do not believe that will ever change.

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