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Hana Bezabeh, 17

Hana Bezabeh is a youth mentor at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, or BFI, a literary arts nonprofit in Seattle, Washington. She’s been a writer from a young age and honed her skills in poetry as a student at BFI. Her stories have appeared in many BFI publications, most recently the forthcoming edition of What to Read in the Rain. Bezabeh believes writing gives her the ability to relate to people and provides something to her readers, too: a window into new perspectives.

Bezabeh focuses her activism on creating opportunities for others to volunteer and serve their community. She organized a day of service where volunteers from the Bureau of Fearless Ideas partnered with YouthCare, an organization that supports homeless youth in the greater Seattle area, to provide over 100 care packages. After completing her university studies, she would like to serve abroad, providing medical aid for people in different countries.

 

A Muffin Goes A Long Way

By Hana Bezabeh

 

As I dozed off in my sixth grade environmental science class, all I could think about was the last precious Costco muffin sitting right in the middle pocket of my favorite purple backpack, a spot solely dedicated to my most prized possessions. I was in a passionate argument with myself, debating between the best ways to eat my beloved chocolate muffin, when I was interrupted by the bell. I knew that the bell signaled the glorious moment at which I could bite into a symphony of chocolatey, doughy goodness. But as I walked out the school doors, I saw my dad sitting in his car interrupting my big plans. Knowing that my dad wanted to keep the car tidy, I held the desire to devour my chocolatey obsession for a painful 27 minutes until I finally arrived at Bureau of Fearless Ideas.

I was a little anxious to walk in without my usual buddy Isayas (who was the only other kid I knew there at the time) but felt relieved once I found a familiar spot to settle down in. I got cozy in preparation of enjoying my mouth-watering delicacy, when I noticed two other friendly faces glancing in my direction. I had seen the two girls before but never even imagined introducing myself. I was quiet and usually had my head buried in a book - only when necessary would I introduce myself to a new person. But because my Ethiopian culture had taught me the indispensable values of generosity and compassion, I couldn’t resist the urge to grab a butter knife from the kitchen and split the muffin into thirds. I can't fully remember how we ended up sitting together, but we introduced ourselves and began digging into our heavenly treat. We quickly bonded over our love for chocolate Costco muffins, which helped me form new friendships. If I hadn't shared my beloved muffin, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to form these bonds and become more apart of BFI’s community.

That muffin represents the foundation of our 6 year (and counting!) friendship.

That muffin ignited my passion for service and getting to know others.

That muffin, while a small gesture, was a catalyst to new connections and a greater community.