Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Someone Who Can Never Repay You

Name: Sheelan Mohammed
From: Waterbury, Connecticut
Grade: Grade 11
School: Central Connecticut State University
Votes: 0


By devoting my time and effort to helping the community, I’ve
become familiar with the concepts of discipline and empathy. This was
my ultimate purpose to giving back, other than giving back. Before
I took the initiative to contribute to my community, I knew about the
less fortunate and the obstacles they face on a daily basis, but I
hadn’t really known the severity of what they’d gone
through. I’ve been volunteering since 2013, and continue to do so,
approximately twenty hours per year, 2 per week, and 10 per month.
After volunteering at food pantries, cleaning, and organizing
canned-good drives, I was able to see what it means to be relieved to
know where one’s next meal is coming from. When I sit down at the
dinner table at home, eating without thought or appreciation that I
have a guaranteed roof over my house and food on my plate, I realize
how much I took my privileges for granted. And then I started to
imagine what it would be like if all of my privileges weren’t
guaranteed. I thought about the people at the food pantry, and how
they’d smile at me as I served them food like it was the best day
of their lives. Community service has helped me put myself in others’
shoes. It made me realize what it means to be truly empathetic, and
to do good to and for others. Volunteering and seeing the world for
what it is has made me understand that actions have consequences, and
that being disciplined goes a long way. This is what gives me the
most satisfaction, other than helping people, of course.

At
a young age, I knew that I liked to write. Since then, I have written
plenty poems and short stories, but nothing like a novel – which
has always been my dream. But like every writer, I struggled heavily
with writer’s block. I lacked inspiration and motivation. For
years, this had been the case. But I pushed myself. No matter how
hard it got, no matter how many dead ends I would run into in the
process, I held my head up high. I was determined. Another obstacle I
have faced is dealing with my social anxiety. For a while, my anxiety
has held me back from plenty of opportunities, including taking the
initiative to help out the community. But I sought out help, and I’m
feeling surer of myself than I have ever felt. I’m not afraid to
talk to and in front of others, and I’m not afraid of being a
volunteering leader. Defeating these obstacles will help me succeed
in school because I am now confident, hard-working, and concentrated.
I know that I can project these success onto my volunteering
experiences.

I
believe that my volunteering, although trivial, has made a difference
in at least the people who I have helped out for a short time
while volunteering. I hope that my future service will inflict a much
bigger impact on my community and society, and I will open charities
for refugees, people of color, abused men and women, and the
homeless. I am at a time in my life where I don’t have the
privilege or opportunity to start these kind of services, but it is
my goal to accomplish this. I see my activities as “forward
looking” because they are a sneak peek into the potential of my
impact on my community. I see it as an ‘internship’ that’ll
provide me with substantial experience and knowledge to hopefully
pursue helping others along with future career aspirations. I plan to
be a teacher, and I will be helping guide and educate many young
people like myself. And I definitely hope to pursue the volunteering
goals I’d mentioned. In conclusion, John Bunyan has taken the word
straight out of my mouth: “You have not lived until you have done
something for someone who can never repay you.”


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