Since I was a student in high school, I’ve wanted to make a difference. If I saw a need, I was never one of those people who said “someone should do something.” I always tried to find a way to help. That’s probably one of the reasons my extracurricular activities in school far outweighed my grade point average. Service was a whole lot more fun than studying!
My sophomore year in high school, I joined the school paper and one of my assignments that year was to visit the ESL (English as a Second Language) class and do a story on what it was like for students from other countries trying to fit in with a new language, new culture, and oh yeah, try and learn something. What I discovered in my reporting was that it was hard and challenging, and after I wrote my story, I started a tutoring group for that class and brought in some of my friends to help tutor and connect with those international students. It made a real difference for some of those students and it was awesome to see those students succeed and cultural understanding develop between the American students and the international students.
But, REAL writers don’t get involved with their stories. We’re supposed to observe, to report and that’s it. That’s what I was told anyway as I started writing more over the course of the last six or seven years. And I wanted to be a REAL writer.
The story I’m about to share is one that I’ve never told. But it’s something that really affected me and my attitudes and my life over the last few years. I think I’m ready to share it.