Ria

I have been doing volunteer work since I was in eighth grade. At first, I was doing it just to get volunteer hours for a club but then I saw how much I liked helping people. Ever since then, I have been a very active member in my community. However, the summer of 2014 was my biggest volunteer experience yet – I traveled to Swaziland, South Africa to participate in an internship at Good Shepherd Hospital and volunteer at Child Care Centers. I met many children who opened my eyes to a world I have never seen before. I have spent most of my life in a small, urban town with privileged people. I was sheltered and never had to face anything drastic. These children came from poverty, were victims of abuse, or were affected by HIV in an indirect way (their parents have died from it). I witnessed a death while I was shadowing a doctor during a C section. The mother was poor and couldn’t properly care for herself, so her baby was underweight and premature. Her baby didn’t have the proper nutrition to develop properly and passed away a few hours after the birth. These two events, meeting the child at the care center and the death of the beautiful baby, changed my entire plan of what I want to do in the future. I want to bring awareness to issues like this because I do not think people really understand what is going on. When I came back from my trip, I held a clothing and toy drive in my church and sent it to the care centers. I also did a presentation in all of the biology classes at my school on the structure, function, and process that the human immunodeficiency virus undergoes and how the social codes that Africans practice aid in the spread of HIV. These socio-cultural reasons are things such as rape culture, gender inequality, and polygamy. After doing this, I realized that I wanted to leave this world a better place than it was before I was born. I want to help change the world. I don’t want to wait till later to be involved- I want to help in any way I can at all times. I have been trying to find organizations that can help me grow as a humanitarian and give me the experience I need because my wish is to start a non profit organization in years to come to help empower women. I have made an Instagram account, called Positivityjourney, where I try to encourage young women to self love and love others. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, and as glad as I am to have those mistakes as a learning experience, I don’t want other people to go through what I did. I went though a lot of self hate, insecurities, and negativity, so I wanted to help women build a strong foundation of support and love in themselves because I think that it is crucial to believe in yourself. I want to help, so I would love to be a part of your amazing organization and be a part of the awesome work you guys do. Thank you for your time and for reading this!