CareerBridge Provides Opportunity For Hadiya To Give Back To Her Community

By Eric Steckel | October 22, 2019

Hadiya, CareerBridge student

CareerBridge – and her own past experiences – inspired Hadiya to give back to her community and help others.

One of our greatest hopes is that we can inspire and enable CareerBridge students to give back to the community. Hadiya, a CareerBridge alum and a recipient of our Eddie College Scholarship, is one who is fulfilling that hope!

Hadiya joined our program as a junior in high school. She carried herself with poise and confidence, juggling the demands of both academics and club volleyball with grace. But we learned during her scholarship interview that Hadiya had a difficult time early in high school. Despite being an accomplished student-athlete – or perhaps because of it – she was bullied by other students. Like with so many youths, the bullying chipped away at her self-esteem.

“I worried about what others were saying about me, and I was falling into depression,” she bravely admitted. “My mother, a law enforcement officer, reminded me that I was ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and that she faces bullies every day. She didn’t allow other people’s words to affect who she is – a child of God. After that pep talk and a whole lot of prayer, I never again allowed their actions to bring me down.”

“I used my own difficult experiences to help others in a way no one else can.”

With newfound confidence, Hadiya made the decision to help others. She joined her high school’s Link Crew program, where she used her own experiences to help underclassman with issues like social anxiety and adjusting to high school. She also sought out opportunities to uplift her community.

CareerBridge was happy to connect her with Today’s Youth Matter (TYM) and City Team Oakland. After Hadiya completed her first CareerBridge internship in 2018, program director Margena Wade-Green encouraged her to become a TYM camp counselor, which she did for two years. As a cabin leader, Hadiya counseled young girls, all of whom come from very traumatic backgrounds. She also found time to prepare and serve food to the homeless at City Team.

Hadiya in volleyball uniform

In addition to being a top student and star athlete, Hadiya juggled a CareerBridge internship, Today’s Youth Matter camp schedule, and college application demands, so that she could participate – and excel – in all three.

“She juggled a CareerBridge internship, TYM camp schedule, and college application demands, so that she could also participate – and excel – in all three,” said CareerBridge director Margena Wade-Green. “These were all incredibly demanding. But she didn’t just ‘move on’ – she took on more responsibility.”

That attitude served her well during her internship at the Kylie Walsh Osteopathy clinic this past summer. Dr. Kylie Walsh was so impressed by Hadiya’s digital marketing strategy that she hired Hadiya to manage the clinic’s marketing platform while she is away at college.

Today, we are proud that Hadiya is at Loyola Marymount University where she will put her scholarship money to good use. But we are prouder still that she demonstrates the power of perseverance and a commitment to give back to her community each and every day.

YES, I CAN help a struggling child reach their God-given potential.

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