Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Echoing Steps

Name: Jessica Petteys
From: Hudson Falls, New York
Grade: jpetteys@hfcsd.org
School: jpetteys@hfcsd.org
Votes: 0

You begin to descend
down Main Street, normally this late at night you can hear the sound
of each individual step echoing off the buildings but tonight all you
can here is the blasting of sirens and the load voices of strangers.
You begin to look around and notice a small gathering of people
huddled in the ally as you get closer you can recognize the faces of
a couple school age kids as they pass around a small cigarette.
Growing up in an underprivileged community this is normal but you
would do anything to change it.

There’s a large
number of kids in my community whose parents lack the necessary funds
to provide for them. Every Thursday, before work, I pack backpacks
with food for the children in need. In the bags we put foods that the
children can make on their own like peanut butter, jelly, bread and

On Wednesday nights
after working a 4 hour shift you will often find me watching the
children of local immigrants as their parents attend english class.
If English is your first language it’s hard to grasp the
difficulties of such a severe language barrier. Everyday things like
grocery shopping or driving become a daunting task. These classes
provide an unimaginable opportunity for the parents who attend them.

I recently started a
Science club in my school. I started this club because I believe that
science related careers are some of the most valuable. The objective
of this club is to get younger kids involved in the science
community, specifically, science research. It provided the students
with a positive way to occupy their time and could result in a
lucrative career.

I try to do
everything I can to help my community through volunteering and I’m
not the only one, there’s many other leaders and volunteers that are
trying to make my home town a better place. There’s nothing that I
want more than to come back in a couple years and be able to walk
down the streets and observe kids playing in the park instead of
passing around a cigarette in the ally.

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