Zain is a recipient of the 2019-2020 MALA Scholarship Program, which seeks to assist rising leaders in the pursuit of higher education through the art of storytelling.
A thinker, explorer, and hard worker are all words that encompass who I am. I owe this identity to my scouting experiences, starting from when I was a young boy. In November 2016, I became an Eagle Scout, a journey that served as pivotal in shaping who I am today. Scouting has opened up opportunities for me to explore academically, spiritually, professionally and personally.
Just like any other scout, I learned how to complete merit badges, how to pitch a tent and go camping in the wilderness without technology through scouting. I was taught life skills like the proper use of a First Aid Kit for when someone is injured. Although I had to originally use a first aid kit because of the bugs outside, I am so grateful that I now know how to help someone through a medical emergency or find them the help they need. My favorite memory of scouting was making a bookcase for the homeless shelter through the Salvation Army. When I went to the shelter, I could see that so much help was needed. As a child, I was alarmed to see so many kids without books to read or the means to properly accessing books. Along with other boy scouts, I had the opportunity to make a bookcase contribute to the Salvation Army, but it also helped me learn how to use the tools to create something that could be used to benefit others. Scouting has shaped my identity by being independent. As I am about to complete high school and go to college, being independent is the key to being an adult. Having leadership skills have made me grow as a person. If there is someone in need of help, I will take the initiative to help those in need.
When I was in my freshman year of high school, I received an AB Honor Roll certificate. I was very proud of the grades that I earned throughout my freshmen year despite the difficulties adjusting to high school as well as medical circumstances. While in my four years of high school, my passion has been into computers. Everywhere I go I see people using some sort of technology, and that has faced my identity by going into a field of Information Technology. I have taken Computer Programming and Web Technology classes that can help me succeed in the field of computers. I learned so much in computer programming such as using the computer system and language called, “Java” to build codes. In Web Technology, I learned how to create websites using HTML. After taking these classes, this gave me an idea on what field of computers I want to be in. I had the chance to explore this interest in high school, but I look forward to where this interest can take me in college and beyond through hard-work and diligence.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to travel to Cancun, Mexico and learn about the Spanish culture, their festivals, food, clothes, etc. My journey in Mexico was so memorable for me because it gave me a chance to relax, while offering me an opportunity to learn about other cultures. I look forward to how I can continue to develop meaningful relationships with peers of different backgrounds in college, while sharing with them my culture and faith to foster a more inclusive global community.
While scouting allowed me to lay the foundation as a thinker, explorer and hard-worker through community service, academics and travel, I aspire to cultivate these aspects of my identity as I move forward in the years ahead. Through a faith-based and service-oriented approach, I hope I can make a difference in the lives of others.