The Power to make a Difference

Katrina - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power to make a difference. I believe that everyone has the potential to have an impact on someone else’s life. We can make a difference in this world by reaching out and helping those who are not as blessed as Americans. But, it does not take going across the world to make an impact in the life of another. Everyone can brighten someone’s life on a daily basis here. As a result, you will be touched.

Last year, I had the privilege to go across the world to Uganda, Africa. This is where I spent my junior spring break. Although I went to help orphanages learn the importance of hygiene, I was blessed way more as a result. The children there had literally nothing at all, but you could not find one without a glowing smile on his or her face. Sometimes the simplicity of life is all that is needed to touch another.

I have been blessed with the gift of math and science. This year, I have been able to use that gift to help others. Through my school’s student tutoring center, TOTEM, I have been able to meet and make an impact in the life of others.

Though I have meet many students through this volunteer program, a couple stand out. Steven is your average high school male freshman. He slacks off, does not try, and has “better” things on his mind then passing classes. There is more to him than what meets the eye. As I have been able to talk to him, I have learned about his hardships and how they have affected his life. Since childhood, he has struggled with a rare cancer of the eye socket. You would be totally unaware of this if you were to meet him. I have been able to not only be his tutor, but a friend he can come to about his problems.

Another student that I am privileged to work with is Jordan. For the most part, he receives good to average grades, but he has no confidence in himself. Even if he knows the subject matter well, he doubts himself and changes his answer as a result. I have been able to sit down with him a couple days a week help him complete his homework and build confidence in himself. This has been a pleasure, since I know that I am helping him and gaining a friend as a result.

Although you may have no time to volunteer on a regular basis, everyone has a special gift they can use to help others. There is always something you can do to help others. Donating old clothing and toys to a homeless shelter is just one example. Even if you feel like you cannot make a huge difference, I believe a smile will always brighten someone’s day.