Over the past two weeks I have been in one of the most hectic, and filthy places in the world, with an immense poverty rate and nothing I really wanted to go see or do. At least that was my view before Ymad. But now I’ve changed, I’ve changed for the better. This trip has changed my thoughts about my family, my home, my country, and especially my outlook on life. I saw 42 amazing kids over the past two weeks. These are kids that I grew to love. I saw their eyes light up each day from me just being present in their lives. They played in the dirt with tattered sweaters and shoes that don’t fit, but there was always that same grin and light in their eyes. This light changed me and inspired me to be a better person. Jyoti means light and light changes one day to the next. Light represents a new day, a clean slate, and for some a new life. A new life was created for the kids through many amazing service hours from the YMAD organization, but the kids have created a new life for me and it is one I will live to the fullest.A new life full of service and love, but most of all of toughness and strength. Every time I’m going through a trial, I will think back to those kids and whatever hard thing is in my path I can and will overcome. And I’ll do it because of the light in the eyes of the children of the Kalsuin school in northern India. My heart is full and I’m forever great full to everyone who made this expedition possible, but most of all I am thankful for those kids who show all of us that we can be the light and change we want to see in the world.


Zachary Johnson

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