From: Saint Johns High School, MA
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: $1,000
From a young age, I have always wanted to make a difference in the world. This goal started with me wanting to be a garbage truck driver, to a firefighter, to even a professional soccer player. I recently realized though, that making a difference does not require someone to have a big platform or have the dream job, and that the smallest actions can impact the most lives. I have been a part of my high school’s Herren Project club since the start of my freshman year. At the student activities fair before the start of freshman year, I was instantly drawn to this opportunity to begin benefitting the health and wellness of the community immediately surrounding me.
Two years later, not only am I the President of my school’s Herren Project club, but I’m also the President of the Herren Project National Youth Ambassador Board, a coalition of around 15 Student Ambassadors carefully selected from students across the country that are committed to not only encouraging healthy choices in their own schools and towns, but in communities all throughout the United States. As the President, I utilize the power of social media and technology in Herren Project clubs nationwide to encourage as many students as possible to make healthy life choices. I’m so excited that the work that we are doing is making a difference in the lives of anyone previously stuck in a cycle of addiction, substance abuse, and the consequent poor mental health.
This past December, the Herren Project was asked to participate in an event called the 31 Nights of Lights, where 31 non-profit organizations in Massachusetts that continue to make a difference in the community were recognized for their contributions and asked to change the colors of the Prudential Center in honor of their respective organizations. On December 6th, Herren Project was recognized for its accomplishments, and as the President of the National Youth Ambassador Board, I was honored to head over to Boston and light the Prudential Tower purple to remind those fighting addiction that they are not alone in their battle. I do not do it for the name or the recognition. I do it because it is the right thing to do, and I know that God is watching over me constantly and would not want me to stop. That small action that Rahul did to me eventually impacted so many lives. In life, even though we may not recognize it, we spend our whole lives looking forward to the next accomplishment. First passing that test then saying “I just can’t wait to be done with this course,” then getting a five on that AP Exam and saying “I can’t wait to be done with high school,” getting into your dream school and saying “I can’t wait until my first job,” to getting your first job and saying “I can’t wait until I retire.” If we live with this mentality, we miss all the days between them. All the days when we could be enjoying life and helping others enjoy theirs. Life is not just accomplishments and milestones. In my opinion, it is about making the most of your life and making that difference knowing that you have done what is best for you and those around you.