YOUTH SPOTLIGHT - TARIKA KAHLON


What is your school and grade? How long have you been involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?

I attend Oak Ridge High School and am in 10th grade. I’ve actively been involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference for just about a year!


Why did you join Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference & how did you hear about it?

I joined Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference to be able to meet new, like-minded people in my community and get the opportunity to participate in service through a variety of events.


How has Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?

Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference has helped me immensely outside of the organization itself. At school, I’ve become a better leader and gained more confidence; whether it be with public speaking or helping my classmates. I’ve also learnt to appreciate what I have more since my time at Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference.


What has your experience been like since joining?

Since joining Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference, I’ve had amazing experiences at every event. It’s getting to meet new people at every event and grow your community that makes Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference really unique. I definitely got a lot more than what I expected from when I paid the $20 registration fee last year.


Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?

One of my favorite memories from Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference was being at the Winter Boutique Committee event day. After weeks of work sorting clothes, it was finally time to be able to distribute them. As I stood at the register, someone without the ability to speak came to check out. Our team got creative and communicated with them by writing on a slip of paper back and forth. After we finished bagging their clothes, they took their time to write us a nice thank you note in front of us. That moment has since been the most heartwarming experience I have had through Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference and an amazing example of our youth’s creativity.


Outside of Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference, I’m in Speech and Debate, started my school magazine Trojan Times, and teach Bhangra (Punjabi dance)! Throughout all of these activities I’ve gotten the pleasure of getting to learn so many new things, build greater communities, as well as teach others! In everything I do I make sure I am doing it because I truly enjoy it, and I’ve found that in common with these activities and Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference.


In the future, I hope to pursue a major in Sociology so I can do research and answer unknown questions about our society. I like learning about current issues and have always been a curious person since I was a child. I remember asking so many questions in the car when I was younger that my aunt was befuddled. So getting to do this in the future as well excites me!