Opportunity Scholarships: Helping Youth Pursue Their Passions, One Activity at a Time
Youth are molded by their opportunities to learn new skills and pursue their interests, and through these experiences they gather important tools. In an effort to support this, PVF has teamed up with a San Francisco foundation to create the Youth Opportunity Scholarship (YOS) Program to make extracurricular enrichment activities more accessible to youth. YOS offers a chance for students to take initiative on one of their dreams and apply for funding to make it a reality. We have received requests for an array of activities, including dance classes, music lessons, tutoring, outdoor activities, and sports teams. Who knows? These early experiences could inspire the next Mozart or Michael Jordan.
One of the must fulfilling parts of running this scholarship program is reading all of the student responses to: What makes you passionate or excited about the activity you want to explore?
Below are some student responses that exude enthusiasm and inspiration.
A 13 year old from Lighthouse Community Charter School explaining how dancing will give her confidence: “I love to dance because my mother inspired me to try my best and to never give up; no matter how many times I fail, I will pick myself up and keep moving forward. I believe dancing will help motivate me to not give up and gain the confidence and courage I need in order to have more bravery in front of an audience.”
A 12 year old student from Lighthouse Community Charter School who wants to learn self-defense and concentration skills: “I want to explore self-defense or something that I will use when I need to defend myself. I feel karate and kickboxing is for me because I know this sport helps you find balance between your mind and your emotions. Two years ago I was diagnosed with ADD. I have problems concentrating, and I think karate is a great way to help me focus. This way I can be a person who is productive in society.”
A 13 year old from O’Hara Middle School explaining how basketball will help him become a better communicator: “I would like to explore basketball. I would say the most challenging part of the game of basketball is trying to handle your anger when you are getting fouled. This skill took me some time to adapt, but with hard work and complete focus I have managed to control my anger. This makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something in life. I feel basketball gives me the opportunity to expand both my coordination and communication skills.”
These requests, which speak to the power and passion of youth, inspire us, and we hope that they inspire you too.