Photo comp: Deniz Şengün, turkey
Deniz Şengün
Award Level:
Favourite memory of the Award:
My favourite memory of the award is the voluntary work I did during the award. I went to a boarding school from the ages 10 until I was 18. Every year we would have new students come to our school. As voluntary work I read to kids aged 10 years old during the night. Each time I went to read to them they would always be so thrilled to see me. I would get this incredible feeling knowing that even though what I am doing is so simple and easy, it made the kids happy. It is incredible how easy it is to impact someones life in a positive way by doing something so effortless.
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
The biggest challenge for me was the 2 day long camping out in the wild. I had always been raised in a protected and safe environment. The final step of the bronze medal was my first camping experience ever. I found it really challenging to adapt to a completely different way of living. However I can also say it was one of the best experiences I had ever had. It made me get out of my comfort zone and really see what I was capable of. It made me learn the importance of team work and patience.
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
After getting my award I continued dancing which I did as a physical activity for the award, for another 3 years. During those three years me and my partner won several medals in competitions organised by TDSF (Turkish Dance Sports Federation). I did not only dance for success but I had plenty of fun while doing so. I got to know my body and myself a lot better because the way you dance is a reflection of who you are, your character, your weaknesses and strengths. Dancing has definitely helped me evolve as a strong, confident young woman. This is a photo of me taken a year after the award. I had decided to get out of my comfort zone and experience new cultures. So I applied to AFS and went to Belgium for a whole year. I was only 15 years old, living in a country where I didn't even speak the language of, being hosted by a host family and most importantly I was all alone while doing so. I had a rough first 2 months adapting to a new country and new people. This picture was taken after a difficult time and reminds me that I can tackle any obstacle and I can do that without anyone's help. All I have to do is trust myself and my power.
Award Role: