Make a Difference Day was established to serve as an annual reminder to encourage people to make a positive difference in the world. Even one small act of kindness, generosity, or creativity can begin a chain of positive reactions and ultimately result in a significant difference in your community. ThanksUSA scholar Chelsea Briggs’?story is an inspiring example of the self-perpetuating cycle of community service.
This year, Chelsea received her third $3,000 Altria Client Services/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship to continue her education at University of Hawaii, West Oahu, where she is currently a junior majoring in Finance & Political Science. Since losing her father, U.S. Air Force SSgt Raymond Briggs, Chelsea has strived to carry on his legacy of service. Chelsea volunteers with Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, serves as an outreach volunteer for Survivor Outreach Services, serves as a peer mentor for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and participates in community events such as the 66th Cherry Blossom Festival Hawaii, at which she was crowned Princess. Chelsea is also passionate about her role as an AVID tutor at Kapolei Middle School. AVID is an educational program that supports student preparation for college. Chelsea explained, “I hope to help younger students to attend college since I had the fear that I would not be able to afford college after my dad passed away.”
“Although I was worried about my college education, I worked hard because I knew my dad would want me to strive for the best no matter my circumstance. Through this, I hope to inspire those younger than me to never give up.”
Chelsea chose to attend University of Hawaii West Oahu so she could remain close to home and be there for her mother, little sister, and little brother. She aspires to pursue a career as an FBI special agent, much like her father had hoped to pursue a career in law enforcement to continue to serve his community after completing his career with the U.S. Air Force. Chelsea described her commitment to her education by saying, “I will work hard to get a good education so that someday I can have a bright future, honor my father, and carry on his legacy. I want to pursue my dad’s dream, and this is why my college education is so important to me.”
Chelsea’s ability to make a difference by inspiring young students and pursuing a career in federal law enforcement is enhanced by the efforts of ThanksUSA and the generosity of those who help fund the ThanksUSA scholarship program. In her words, “ThanksUSA has been there to support me throughout my college education. I am very grateful for the sponsors and donors who support my education along with ThanksUSA. My father always wanted me to attend college. Thanks to wonderful organizations like ThanksUSA and the generous donors, I can continue my education and carry on my father’s legacy.”
Today, Make a Difference Day 2018, Chelsea’s story reminds us of Hawaiian wisdom `A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke p’na`i…No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.