Congratulations to all our Scholarship winners!
This year we asked our applicants to write an essay on “If you had the freedom to enrich the lives of others within your community, would you? Why is this important to you?” While it was difficult to pick a winner from so many good applications we chose Katherine’s as the 1st Place winner. Her essay is as follows:
If I had the freedom to enrich the lives of others within my community, I would gladly take the opportunity to do so. I think that everyone has an obligation to do something to enrich the lives of others regardless of their income, education or upbringing. Enriching the lives of others is important to me for several reasons.
One of the main reasons to give back to the community is because it is easy to do. Community is a word used for many different things. Community can mean the people included in your town or city, but it can also mean the people with whom you surround yourself, who you call friends, and those who change each other’s lives. One simple way I impacted the community around me is by taking a girl that was new to my job under my wing. I worked at a small ice cream shop for two summers. The girls and I were a tight-knit group and had worked together for a while. A new girl was hired, and she didn’t know any of us. Everyone was nice to her, but for the most part the older workers stayed to themselves. I, on the other hand, talked to her often and we became good friends. It was an easy, simple thing to do, but it impacted her work experience and the work experience of the other girls and myself.
I also was given the opportunity to enrich another community: my varsity tennis team. I was a four year member of my High School’s tennis team and despite the small number of players, there was a lot of division between players. The team was a bigger group of many small circles of friends, and some of the players tended to only talk to those in their circle. I like to think that I helped change this dynamic. Through team-bonding exercises, mixing up groups for drills, and after-match activities, the once divided Girls Tennis team became one big group of friends and our competitive success soared as a result.
Enriching the community is also the right thing to do. Small actions make a big difference in all kinds of communities. For example, I have participated in multiple National Honor Society events that help out many communities around the world. Recently, with the help of my High School advisor and fellow officers, we were able to pack 4 pallets of dried soup mix to send overseas. I gave four hours of my life to pack soup, but it was the right thing to do. I could have spent this time during my Spring break doing something selfish, but doing the right thing will benefit many people in communities all around the world.
My Sunday School Teacher from elementary school is a great example of a person who enriches the community for the sole fact that it’s the right thing to do. She is the most selfless person I know. She enriches the lives of so many people in the church’s community, and does it out of the goodness of her heart. Being a Sunday School Teacher is her job, however it does not pay well. This has not stopped her from giving all of her energy to help our church community. She organizes Easter baskets for the children of families who struggle financially, collaborates with the kitchen staff at my church to send excess food to different food banks in neighboring communities, and helps raise money for camp scholarships. She is one of the reasons that I feel so strongly that it is important to enrich our community.
The final reason why it is important to enrich the community is that it will encourage others to do the same. If everyone does something small on a regular basis to help out their community, it will bring hope to those that might be struggling. Everyone will go through periods in their life when they might struggle. I would hope that if I set a good example in my community, others might remember and follow my example in their community. Give gifts at Christmas to the needy, read a book to a child, pick up some groceries for an older neighbor. Do something to enrich your community and spread some hope to those who need it most!