Volunteer Ottawa’s “Y Volunteer” Contest, Entry of the Week – Inshar Khan

Some fantastic entries continue to roll into the Y Volunteer Contest. We caught up with the creator of this week’s entry of the week, Inshar Khan. Inshar is a grade 12 student at Ridgemont High School here in Ottawa.

VO: Inshar, tell us a little bit about your entry. 

Inshar: The main theme for my “The money is time” piece was to show that we can pay people in and with time. I keep hearing “time is money” but if you think about it, when you volunteer you’re giving your time, you are investing you’re time. When you go to volunteer at a homeless shelter you donate food cans, or you help them out by giving your time. In the video I removed my watch from a wallet and put it in the homeless man’s cup. It shows that we have a lot of time, so much of it goes to waste. Even if we can give 60 seconds to someone in need it is worth it and so time becomes priceless especially when you spend that time to help someone.

VO: Why rap and slam poetry? This was a big undertaking, why not create a poster or something else less…time consuming?

Inshar: I think rap/slam poetry is today’s generation’s voice. Since the main theme is time, I wanted to get with the times. I have been doing slam poetry for not too long but I feel people get bored after seeing someone just come there and rap. I wanted to bring out local talent but in a unique way. Sure, we could have played the drums and used software to make a beat, but we decided to do something different and so Rayminson Dejesus decided to pencil tap the whole beat. He did an amazing job. Most, if not all, of the people in the video have a great sense of community and have done their share of volunteering. Instead of me constantly being on a video and just rapping, I wanted to show all the amazing people in our neighbourhood who have done great things. Hip Hop has always been about community.

VO: What about your own volunteer experiences. Why do you volunteer and where?

Inshar: I think volunteering has so many benefits. Not only do you help someone, but you learn from their lives and you connect with people. If you are not volunteering for the help, you can volunteer for 40 hours to graduate. Either way, every student has to volunteer. My first volunteering experience was in grade 8 at the Greenboro Library, ever since then I have volunteered every year. I volunteered in school, Expose, South Asian community festival, multi-cultural shows. It’s just a good way to give back to the city which gives the youth many opportunities. My business teacher taught me that Time is the most valuable factor in today’s world. It determines what time we get to a place, how much of it we have left and how much money do you get in it. We should start thinking how many people we can help. We are always racing the clock and that’s why it left me with the image that Time Is The Target.

VO: Thanks for your time Inshar and keep up the good work.

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