I am using my VOICE to help people and pets around the world by supporting an amazing organization called 'ma Cares'. Ma Cares does so many charitable things including providing disaster relief, donating to the cause of disease prevention, organizing events to support children in need and raising awareness to assist abandoned and abused animals. I really believe that the actions of just one person can impact the lives of more people than you've ever dreamed. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that from your own small community, you can affect lives around the world. If you would like to know more about what 'ma Cares' is doing to better the lives of others, go to their website: maCares.org. How are you using YOUR voice?
Without passion, I believe, nothing can be achieved. I was 10 when I first got involved in the conservation world. It started when a teacher at my school took me birding - that was when I first fell in love with birds. With the support of my family I did fundraising for a local, endangered bird - the bearded vulture - and my passion for conservation grew! Now I not only focus on birds but many other animals as well. I have been able to make a difference through my non-profit organisation, Four Elements Conservation (www.fourelementsconservation.org). This experience has taught me that there is no age limit on following your dreams and that with a little bit of passion (determination and hard work) you can achieve anything.
After learning how children across seas have no VOICE, I became infatuated with freeing them and allowing them to be seen as people, not inanimate objects. I started by making and selling bracelets in return for a donation. After just one year, I managed to raise a couple thousand dollars! Today, I have become aware of the under privileged families within the gta. Things like diapers, clothes, and strollers are luxuries to these families; therefore, I organize movie nights, drop offs, and community events to raise money or items that can be distributed to centres or to individual families. I take pride in collecting the money, and shopping for the items myself. I also help with Eco groups, charities with my school, cancer societies and more.
After facing bullying over the years & after finding the inner strength to overcome it, I came to a conclusion that it helps you so much to have self-confidence at a younger age. I spend my time volunteering for many organizations where I get to interact with children like the Vancouver Children's Festival & another event, The Cloverdale Rodeo, where I worked in the Kid Zone. For them, seeing a teenage girl my age doing more than what the media portrays gave a lot of kids hope in being involved in their community, whereas before, they thought their voices were small and unheard. As for bullying, I specifically work as a Red Cross Youth Facilitator to redefine respect and re-installed confidence where it always should be: in their heart.
This past summer, my best friend and I were privileged enough to go on a mission trip with our church for a week. On the trip we stayed in a chapel, met tons of other teenagers similar to us from across the United States, learned more about our religion, and had about 40 hours worth of volunteering with different organizations. My favorite experience from the trip was when I was serving food at a food pantry. I met a 6 year old boy who was the happiest kid I have ever met- he had the cutest little dimples. No matter how rough his life at home was, he was able to look past that and value the little things in life.
I got the opportunity to visit a children's orphanage in Belize and volunteer for a day. We played with the kids, ate lunch with them and got to see their rooms and living areas and talked to them about their life before the orphanage. There was one child with tuberculosis. The Liberty Children's Home was the only one in Belize that took children with HIV and AIDS. There were two children with HIV - contracted from birth. One child decided to teach me and another girl Creole - the national language! It was eye-opening to see all of the kids. I am starting to appreciate my friends more and more because of this experience.
I want to touch people's hearts through my gift of dance. At the age of 13, I volunteer at my local church in the children's ministry. I also participate in the praise dance ministry. My goal is to one day attend Black Girls Rock!
I am involved with two groups - T-CPB and Youth Board. Teen CPB is a group of high school students who volunteer their time to come together and talk about what's going on in our community and how we can help fix it as a group. I got into this program when I was in 11th grade and when I went to that first meeting, I really loved it so I decided to keep going. When I graduated from high school, I got involved with Youth Board Meeting. In this program, we plan events like rummage sales and we do potlucks for families in need and much more. We do so much to help out our community. I realized that volunteering was a great thing to do. It feels so amazing when I know I accomplished something so great!
Last year, I was involved with British volunteering charity vInspired. I was one of a hundred team leaders for their programme Team V and over nine months we did three campaigns all across the country- the first was Raising Awareness of Youth Homelessness: I spoke to over 400 school students about the issue. For the second campaign Make Time For Your Mind, we set up a stall in our local supermarket to talk to people about how to have good mental health. And for our third campaign, teams all over the country worked to transform unloved spaces in their community. I loved it so much that after graduating from the programme in July, that today I started their 'VIP' programme and I'm an ambassador for the charity, doing mini campaigns.
I volunteer to get insight on giving back to the community. I was introduced to volunteer work by my MOM who volunteers all the time. At first I was volunteering because I needed the hours for graduation but as I progressed throughout the year I realized that volunteering was a great thing to do. I was learning while volunteering and now I enjoy volunteering. I volunteer for HandsOnBroward participating in Walks like Florida HIV/AIDS WALK ,Walk to CURE DIABETES , ANGELS Picnic for Families and Kids with HEART DISEASE and Feeding the Homeless. I follow in my mom's footsteps who was inspired by my great-grandmother who inspired my mom when she was a teenager in Jamaica. I encourage my friends because it is awesome. Thank you
I am using my VOICE to coach pre-teen girls with an organization called Girls on the Run! I've been a coach and a running buddy for almost 5 years and have absolutely loved the bonds I have built with the fellow coaches and girls involved. Girls on the Run is an after-school health and wellness program for girls between the ages of 8-12 years old. We combine life skills with running activities that prepare them for a 5K race at the end of the 10-week program. We cover topics like gossiping, bullying, positive self-talk, and positive interactions with everyone around them. The organization is meant to prepare girls for a lifetime of success by encouraging them to be active and positive throughout all aspects of their life and I love it!
This past October I got the opportunity to use my VOICE to speak at Chicago Ideas Week. Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) brings together hundreds of the world’s brightest leaders to inspire, connect and activate the city of Chicago and the world. I was on a panel called Instigators: Stand for Something. I chose to stand up for my girls all around the world. I talked about how important it is for girls in developing countries to find their voice and speak out. I mentioned how programs such as Girl Up are easy ways to get involved in doing so. Girl Up is a campaign that the United Nations Foundation created to help girls in developing countries reach their full potential through education, staying safe, healthy, being counted, and becoming leaders.
As a champion for Girl Up, I have pioneered the SoCal Girl Up Club, in Cerritos, a small suburb of Southern California, to unite and empower girls here to raise awareness and advocate for girls not only here, but also abroad in countries including Malawi and Guatemala. I strive to become involved and help others not only in my immediate community though organizations like my local hospital and the American Red Cross (of which I am helping with the fundraising initiatives at my high school chapter), but also in campaigns like the United Nations' Girl Up campaign which is gaining greater support and successfully channeling the compassion and resources of millions of American girls here for girls just like us around the world.
I am using my VOICE by promoting the Girl Up campaign, a part of the United Nations Foundation. I started a Girl Up club at my school and am a member of the Girl Up Southern California Coalition. Recently we had the opportunity to talk to Shaun Robinson via web call which was great! Thank you!