Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Changing the World One Child at a Time

Name: Jordyn Hilton
From: Yakima, Washington
Grade: 9
School: A.C. Davis High School
Votes: 0

            In many communities there are problems with gangs and drugs that effect
the municipal youth. Family trouble, poverty, abuse of any kind, and
a plethora of other undesirable situations can push a developing mind
to seek comfort elsewhere and resort to drugs or other substances.
This is where community youth programs come into effect.

Madison House is an afterschool youth program that is meant for kids living
in poverty or in other undesirable living conditions. The point of
Madison House is to keep these adolescents off the streets and give
them alternative options to drugs or gangs. The program runs sports
most seasons and does summer camps in June and July. Furthermore,
there are varying activities running from 2:30 to 5:00 such as
cooking class or music lessons. I typically volunteer every Monday
from 3:00 to 6:00. At Madison House I tutor and assist kids with
homework or other school work, read with them, help out with arts and
crafts and facilitate and participate in games. I also lend a hand
with serving dinner and cleaning up until 6:00. Not only am I
assisting in activities and doing what I can to make things run
smoothly, but I am also creating bonds with the kids and getting to
know them. Most of the students I work with are living in some form
of poverty, and don’t have a great deal of consistency in their
lives. It is important that they have those at Madison House,
including myself, to provide support in both their academic and home

Working at Madison House has given me a whole new perspective on life and
opened my eyes to the tribulations people face on a global scale. I
have had the chance to witness poverty first hand and in doing so,
seen the joy that simply decorating a mug can bring someone. On the
large scale, I know my volunteer efforts are not going to change the
world. However, for me that is not important: to know that I may be
changing the course of any child’s life and know that they will
live a better life because of Madison House and the connections they
made, fuels my passion for volunteering.

My work with Madison House is endowing me with skills that will carry
over into post-collegiate life. After high school I plan to attend a
four year university and then law school. When I graduate I intend to
go into the Peace Corps and teach children in Africa and other
developing nations. Working at Madison House is giving me experience
relating to and teaching different age groups and is familiarizing me
with various problems people face. Once I am finished in the Peace
Corps I hope to become a human rights lawyer and travel, helping
women and children in developing nations. Observing each unique
adolescent that passes through Madison House has bestowed in me a
passion to help people around the world and change the lives of as
many as I can.

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