Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
It was sad. I had poured my heart and soul into this for a year, putting in extra effort to make up for being so young. I nearly emptied my shelves for the book drive, coordinated the drop off and transportation, and headed the marketing/sales division of the benefit concert. When they finally asked me, a freshman, to be secretary-treasurer of Amnesty International over the upperclassmen I was ecstatic. But as I sat there a few months later watching our new advisor pass out paper for letter-writing I felt utterly trapped. All of the dynamism and action that I had fallen in love with was gone. There were people all over the world in need of help now, help I knew I couldn't give by writing letters. As impressive as it would have been, I didn't march to the principal's office that day and demand a new club be formed. The process took time and I asked for many opinions before I finally took the risk and Raiders Reaching Out began in September 2010.
Not everybody was receptive to my idea at first. When I first inquired about starting the club in guidance, I was told that there were already plenty of clubs that I could join and suggest my ideas to, like Amnesty International. Being stubborn certainly has its drawbacks, but in this case I'm proud of my determination and unwillingness to settle. I spent hours writing a very passionate email to my principal who, as it turns out, completely supported my idea.
Since it started, RRO has continually tested my resolve. I had a million ideas, forty students with different passions and skills, and thousands of causes that needed attention. I can recall late nights finishing posters or organizing workshop supplies, the clock shining a glaring red 3:00 into my blinking eyes. My car has become the club bus service, transporting a combination of high school students, groceries, and craft supplies at all times. Along with my taxi duties, I've become a professional at multi-tasking: running between classes to talk to the principal or our club advisor or reviewing solubility rules in my head while stocking food at the pantry.
Still, struggle has allowed for incredible success. Our local food pantry, which in the past has been unable to maintain a steady supply of food, has not seen an empty shelf in almost a year. Through workshops we've held, with profits totaling over $5000 to date, five local families were able to put presents under their Christmas trees. By the end of the year we had run a total of 11 fundraisers or events.
Out of all the lives this club has changed, however, it has definitely affected me the most. The word change probably isn't the most accurate; it gives the impression that I'm a different person than I once was. My morals, values, and regard for others are still intact, but how I exemplify those things in my life has evolved. I've realized that thoughts and words are a necessary foundation, but only actions can make dreams a reality. I'm no longer afraid to do what I know is right, even if I'm the only one doing it. Most importantly, there's a new fire inside of me and any doubts that lingered before are long gone. I can and will change the world.