Name: Kamilah Cook
From: Leesville, South Carolina
School: Batesburg-Leesville High School
Others Catch Their Dreams
an individual starts to see his or her community fall into a dark
place, it is hard for them to come with a plan to stop the
catastrophe. They do not know how to keep their childhood friends
from getting involved in the neighborhood gangs, nor do they know how
keep them out of the streets. Luckily, there is an organization that
he or she can join in their community, and that is Dream Catchers.
Catchers is an organization in Batesburg Leesville that comes up with
activities and events during the year so that children of all ages
have something to do; this is to help crack down on individuals
choosing the gang life and other dangerous activities.
the youth treasurer of the organization, which is a huge milestone
for me. I also come up with ideas for activities, such as Halloween
costume contests and the New Year’s Eve party. Coming up with
these ideas is rather tricky, however. They may seem cool to me, but
they might seem lame to others.
with Dream Catchers has helped me grow into the young woman I am
today. There is something about making a difference that sends this
thrill through me. Knowing that I, a small town seventeen year old
female, can make a difference in the community gives me the most
satisfaction. If there is one thing that I have learned in my short
life, it is that you do not have to be an elder for people to look up
to you and for you to change the world, one community at a time.
Looking” is continuing to strive for greatness, no matter how many
times you fail in the beginning. When Dream Catchers first started
out, we did not have many students at our events. The most we had at
an event was eight children. Though the devil kept egging us to give
up, we shushed him by continuing to stay determined and kept our
faith. Now, our events get at least one hundred children, which is a
hope that my volunteering can help with the termination of gangs in
my community once and for all. It saddens me to see children that I
once sat in kindergarten with now choose to be involved in dangerous
activities, simply because there is nothing to do in my hometown.
as I walk through the hallways at school, my peers treat me
differently. They are always asking me, “Kamilah, I want to help
the community also.” Little children have confronted me at events,
saying, “I want to be like you.” It warms my heart to see how I
have already touched so many lives, even the lives of those that are
the same age as I am.