Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2018 – Coming Back After 13 Years

Name: Erika Figueroa Rico
From: Salem, OR
Grade: 11
School: McKay High School
Votes: 0

Erika Figueroa Rico

July 5th, 2018

Coming Back After 13 Years

Ever since I was small I have been living in shelters whether if it was
for a few days or for a few years. St. Francis was one of the
homeless shelters that was blasting me with memories as I was
informed that my next project would be there. Care Corps is one of
the organizations that I have been apart of for over a year with
hundred hours of community service with a commitment to bust teen
stereotypes. As I planned our project, I visualized the garden that I
had once played in with my bare feet to escape the everlasting
problems that I would constantly hear. I am now 17 years and my life
has been gradually getting better because I have been doing my best
to change the way I was living. Being able to come up with a project
to renovate this very same garden that gave me hope and made me
forget about the problems my family faced is something amazing that I
have ever done. Ironically, the garden was very arid, plain and
lifeless. I wanted the feeling of hope and life to be brought back
into the garden and into people’s lives. Having said this, it took
over a week to pull out weeds, plant flowers, build a little
waterfall, write inspiring quotes on rocks and to build and paint
benches. The hardest part about this would be the flashbacks I would
get and to acknowledge that this was the way I have been living my
whole life. I automatically recalled that people that were in those
shelters were probably going through what I had gone through and
perhaps in a much more worst situation. It was satisfying to see a
garden that was so lifeless, a sentiment that many must feel in those
shelters became something so vivid and alive which will essentially
help ease the difficulties that many were going through.Taking part
in this opportunity gave me a chance to say thank You. It has made me
realize that any little action that I do towards my community would
in someway be impactful and therefore I strive to do this everyday.
Therefore having a career that involves helping people is something crucial because
this is what I love to do. My plan is to become a dentist and open a
clinic to ensure that every child in my city will have the
opportunity to have their teeth checked and fixed. I would then wish
to carry out this practice around the world in impoverished
countries. These actions are “forward looking” because they will
impact someone or something in someway and it would be memorable.
Overall, my actions will make a difference since I will be providing
something that many will never thought of having and I want to foster
to the world that giving back to your community is not all about one
getting something out of it but it is the impact that it leaves on

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".