"Building Bridges"
By AAMW Reporter Raina Kadavil
On Monday, January 21st, 2013 (more presti-
giously known as Martin Luther King Day), the
African American Men of Westchester - Putnam
held its 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Legacy Youth Legacy Awards ceremony in honor
of young people who they feel are fol owing in
Dr. King's footsteps and making a difference in
the world. Six students were chosen...and I was
among them. They cal ed my award "Building
Bridges" - given to a person, they said, who
took action and unified a group in the name of
a greater cause.
Perhaps it isn't where most kids dream of ending
up. Most kids and teens dream of "NFL" and
"Hol ywood." But this is MY dream, and it isn't
without quite realizing it...and then suddenly, al
a newfound dream at al ; just one that is too
at once. Before I knew it, it was simply a part of
often overlooked. When applying for col ege,
my life, and irrevocable. At this point, keeping
"peacemaker" isn't a career option...yet it has
me from helping people would be like asking a
shaped the lives of so many. My dream is
sports player not to play, or a singer not to sing;
nothing innovative: it was Gandhi's dream, it
it would be like asking a person not to breathe.
was Dr. King's dream...and now, it is my dream.
It would be paralyzing, because service has
While most kids seek fulfil ment through sports,
become something that I fal back on, it's become
music or art, I found something that seems a
my cushion for when skies turn grey.
bit less celebrated among children: service.
Rather than to Ben and Jerry's, I try to find a way
The act of helping others. It started with a group
and place where I can help. And the thing is,
cal ed Global Ambassadors in middle school,
these are so plentiful if you know where to look,
and with service and support from the White
because truthful y, there isn't a person in the
Plains Youth Bureau, and then it simply exploded,
world who doesn't need help in some way or
into independently started projects and writing.
another. And once you recognize that, it's quite
The way I found my passion was much like
simple: no matter where we are in the world,
the way many fal in love, or the way we fal
no matter our beliefs, sexuality, skin color or
asleep - I fel for this passion slowly, at first,
circumstance, our hearts beat in together, as one.