Right as I entered my first year of highschool, I wanted to help people and I wasn’t quite sure how. I was the new kid again, and I wasn’t sure of anything. I felt like I needed to do something for others, and I also knew that I wanted to be in student council. Little did I know that those two things would converge. While I know that I have years to come and that high school will get much more challenging, I know that I want one thing to stay the same. I want to be in student council. Despite being “bullied” for being a freshman, or taking hard classes this year, I know one thing: It is only going to get harder.
However, my version of hard is a lot different than some of the kids in Southeast Raleigh. I have never experienced poverty, I always know when my next meal is, and I don’t have to worry about money, or working a job to help my family out. Sadly, that isn’t the case for many of the children that go to Southeast Raleigh elementary.
On my very first day of volunteering at SERP, I didn’t know which grade I would pick to help out. I was the new kid, yet again. It was really hard to decide, because I was in the unknown. Each grade has its benefits. The young grades are adorable, the middle grades are just right, and the oldest kids are the most mature and can have fun and also behave. I decided to choose fifth grade with my best friend, Jakai. We were worried that these kids would act out, or not listen. Or maybe they wouldn’t need our help at all. When I first walked in, it was a big group of kids all learning about math. At first, they were timid and shy and wouldn’t really open up or ask for help. But as the minutes and hours went by, I got to know a group of kids that are smart, funny, talented, and most of all, nice. Now, I am volunteering there almost every Wednesday, and I am making bonds with kids that will change lives, and I am making myself a better person.
I want the kids in Southeast Raleigh to be able to do great things in life, and that all starts with SERP and ECB. That is why I was the new kid, time and time again, so that I could make a difference in my community. And that is why ECB is making a promise. A promise to give this brilliant and fun kids a chance. A promise to help fight intergenerational poverty.
So for the next 36 days until Charity Ball, I will work when I’m tired, hungry, thirsty, and just about until I collapse on the floor from exhaustion, because I know that it is hard to be the new kid, and being in poverty is like being the new kid, only constantly. And that is why I want to fight intergenerational poverty, help out ECB, and make an impact at SERP.
Freshman Class Senator