Sarah Pham joined YAP as a high school student at Seattle’s Holy Names Academy, where she led a number of student clubs devoted to social change and produced a video to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders and Facing Homelessness. At age 16, she described her mission as empowering youth, hearing the stories of her peers, and giving back by volunteering and learning about issues in her community.
What is the source of your passion for creating positive social change?
Growing up, I’ve been surrounded by stories of my mom’s journey as a refugee from the Vietnam War, of my grandfather, [who was] placed in a concentration camp, and of the adversity so many of my close relatives faced. To me, social impact—the responsibility that I have to give back—is personal to me because I know that it makes a difference.
What advice do you have for other young people looking to get involved in community service?
Research an issue that you are passionate about. Start small. You might not change the world, but you can change a world.
Any advice for parents on how to support their child in working for social change?
Encourage your kids to push themselves daily to find ways to make the world a better place. Be a catalyst for strength and humility, kindness, innovation, and inspiration.
YAP alumni information adapted with permission from ParentMap.