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Youth Spotlight - Kaihan Danesh

1. What is your school and grade? Also, how long have you been involved with H4H?

I am currently a senior at Oak Ridge High School. I have been involved with Hands4Hope since the end of my sophomore year/beginning of junior year.

2. Why did you join Hands4Hope?

I joined Hands4Hope because it was, in my eyes, the most efficient and fun way to serve the homeless population in Sacramento. The team environments of the committees makes organizing events and outreaches really fun.

3. How has Hands4Hope helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?

Being on the Hands4Hope Homeless Committee has taught me responsibility and leadership. I know it sounds obvious and generic, but it’s true because there are always deadlines the committee has to meet. I have to make sure all the different parts of an event are taken care of through communication. With those skills, responsibility and leadership, I’ve become more active in school clubs, even creating my own! At home, I study more diligently and always do something productive.

4. What has your experience been like since joining? Which committees are you part of and why/how did you select these?

My experience with Hands4Hope has been great. I joined the Homeless Committee because I knew the homeless population was the demographic I wanted to serve. The reason for my decision stems from the fact that I was inspired by my grandmother who served the poor and homeless in Afghanistan. The committee is a place I feel is less strict. Coming into it, I thought it was going to be like a classroom because that’s all I had known my whole life. However, I found that, since us youth are the leaders, the meetings and events are much more exciting as we can do things the way we like, as long as they serve the cause.

5. Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope?

I would add that starting Hands4Hope early on in high school or even earlier than that is a good idea. I wish I had joined earlier because then I could’ve served more homeless individuals and just gotten much closer to the staff and other Hands4Hope leaders.

My favorite experience with the Homeless Committee is my first Homeless Outreach. At the time, I was a member and didn’t have a leadership role, so I was shy and quiet. Once we got to Loaves and Fishes to hand out sandwiches, I became closer to the committee leaders, Allison and Kenzie, and other committee members like Eric, all of whom have since graduated. Also, the one thing that made my day that morning was when a homeless man first blessed me and thanked me and the rest of the committee for what we were doing with this radiating smile on his face. Since then, I’ve seen it at every outreach. Every time I hear it, I feel the same joy I felt that first time.

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