Meet Carter Woolf, our 2016 Utah Young Humanitarian! Carter is at the University of Utah studying biology in the hopes of going into Secondary Education as a career. He works at Granite Park Junior High as the PROMISE Youth Development Coordinator, where he coordinates with staff and volunteers to run an after school program for at risk teens and refugee youth.
He first got involved with Youthlinc in 2012 and volunteered at Real Life throughout the Service Year. From there, he started working part time at PROMISE South Salt Lake afterschool programming sites. At the end of May 2016, he applied and was accepted for a full time position. He partially attributes this success to the connections and Letters of Recommendation he obtained through the Young Humanitarian Award application process.
The PROMISE afterschool program runs Monday to Thursday at the junior high school. Their students come from 68 different countries and speak 41 different languages. Ninety-percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch and most come from immigrant and refugee backgrounds. The goal of the PROMISE program is to provide homework help every day in an effort to ensure each child graduates from high school. In addition to homework help, the program also offers fun activities such as cooking, video making, sports, and more. It offers a place for the students to have fun and be safe.
Carter shares with us his journey of becoming a lifetime humanitarian. He says, “When I initially started, I volunteered because it was a requirement that I had to do. It helped build a resume to be doing service. As I found something that I was passionate about, primarily being the refugee population in Utah and working with people less privileged than myself, I found that I loved to do it… That was the only time of the day when I was really happy with what I was doing.” He has an interesting philosophy on the difference between a volunteer and a humanitarian: “A humanitarian serves because they love it. They don’t serve because it’s required or makes them feel good. They serve because they don’t know what they would be doing if they weren’t serving.”
Carter expressed initial disbelief when he was awarded the $5,000 college scholarship and was named Utah’s Young Humanitarian in 2016. He claimed that at first he didn’t think he had an impressive resume. However, as he went through the process of writing his essays and submitting application materials, he realized he might actual be a humanitarian and not just a volunteer. His advice for potential Young Humanitarian Award applicants? Carter says, “You have nothing to lose. Just go for it!”
APPLY for the Utah Young Humanitarian Award before March 15th! You could be next. Win a $5,000 college scholarship and $8,500 in runner-up awards. Find out more here.