The Grey Valley People

Scholarship Entrant: Kristen from La Jolla, CA
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Kristen: 19

On the outskirts of a prosperous city in Trujillo, Peru, there lies a grey, dry landfill where truck after garage truck comes to unload the waste of the Big City in mound after mound, in a valley of decay. In this place, a different kind of city lays. Houses made from tarps, bags, bottles, driftwood that drifts into the city by the sea of trucks. Before the sun rises, when the sky is still black, the Grey Valley people leave their homes and walk into the mounds of landfill, carrying rags filled with chemicals that they hold over their mouth and nose to breathe deeply and relieve the pangs of hunger; elderly and children alike. The people rummage through it, picking out recyclables, clothes, and even snacks to eat while they work into the evening; elderly and children alike. A young boy, about nine, with joy and excitement runs on top of broken glass and plastic bags that ooze out a sticky substance from all sides. He picks up an apple core, peals off a used piece of toilet paper and eats the remaining apple; his treasure. There are places just like this all over the world. My dream is to come to places like this, build a small wooden building, and teach with love and kindness. Through grad school I am being equipped for this life, and through your help, with this scholarship, I will finish school. Please, touch my life, so that I may reach out to others.

Vote for Kristen: 19

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