The transition from high school to college brought the questions of, “who am I and what defines my life.” I summed up the answer to these questions with the simple phrase, “I just want to help people.” This statement of service has guided my life through my adolescents straight into my college years and will continue to be the guiding feature for my future. I consider my love for humanity a spiritual gift that has blossomed as I have matured. Starting in elementary school and feeling a pang in my heart for the child who never had a winter coat, always had a runny nose, and seemed in dire need of a bath. As I progressed into Jr. High, my parents decided to become a foster family. Being a foster sister gave me a first hand glimpse of the suffering and hardships these children had endured, and that pang in my heart turned into a passion to help. In high school, the tug I was feeling toward the oppressed revealed itself through service. I cannot begin to count how many Christmas care packages my friends and I made, along with participating in school wide food drives, and donating to the Salvation Army, all the while trying to be a positive influence for my foster siblings. Now that I am living in a large city and attend college, the opportunities to serve others are endless, especially as a social work major. As I work harder in my area of study, I am learning the appropriate steps to create social change and am putting my spiritual gift to use. The social work industry has given me the knowledge and resources to change lives for the better. I know through my studies that by serving people of need, I am teaching tools for survival and being a voice for the voiceless. Many would object to helping the oppressed and say that it is a lost cause. The opposing opinion is that we can never fix the world’s social problems or that people can never change, so why try. I disagree with this view. Through my few years of serving others, I have already seen positive transformations, such as a family adopting my ten-year-old foster brother, a classmate overcoming a drug addiction, and a teenage mom finishing school. These are only a few examples of why I believe in serving others. If no one helped these people, they would have struggled to be productive members of society. However, with assistance, they were able to lead healthy lives. I am well aware that the world will always have problems but if I can improve one life by serving to needs and providing the tools to survive then I can count my life a success.
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