Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – How I Came to Know Love.

Name: Agatha Palo
From: Oakley, CA
School: Freedom High School
Votes: 148

I believe community service is a very intricate idea in the world we live in today, because such a beautiful thing can be understood by many. Growing up in a rather economically inferior country, to have first-hand witnessed the hardships of the poverty-stricken touched my heart… coming to a new land did not change my views. As a child, my family and I frequented the elderly homes to feed those who longed for their children who’ve yet to set foot in the place. A few years later and in a different environment, that still did not change. Last year, I have joined the PAWS club whilst also being in the Interact Club. It was amazing to have seen the glimmer in the adult’s expression once they realized that we want help them. It motivated me to volunteer even more in my spare time in school to help the teachers clean up their classrooms and whatnot. Most importantly, it was then that I had discovered in my heart that someday, I would like to have a job where I can create smiles in people’s wary faces. This year, as a high school sophomore, I became the PAWS club president. Last year, the group was inactive due to personal issues of the past-president. However, I believe that in the group’s effort, this year will be the time where we can emphasize how truly important it is to help the helpless. I am motivated. I have my hopes held high that in time, I can reach out to the heart of others.

Sometimes, I lay in bed, wondering what really it is about volunteering that moves my heart so much. And as always, my response would be: “paying it forward,” or forward looking. If our generation today would just empathize and try their best to put themselves in the shoes of those around them, they would be able to comprehend just how important it is to spread whatever blessings you have been given. We do not realize how fortunate we are because our eyes are always glued to the
ground ; it is only when we step back and analyze how the world is that we’d take the initiative to volunteer. The hungry old woman you’ve just given a meal to? It might be us in a few years from now. I believe that these small activities we do make such a huge impact in others, because if we share the positivity and encourage others to do the same, in a few years time, the children of the next generation will do the same for us. It’s the small things such as volunteering to sing and dance in the elderly homes. Or even just feeding the dog in the animal shelter. If everyone who is blessed enough to have the ability to volunteer, I am more than sure the world will change, one step at a time: helping others. We can never tell the future, but we
have the ability to shape it.

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