Luck of the Draw

Sarah - Groton, Massachusetts
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Why is it that some people are born with all the money and material possessions in the

world, while others are born without a penny to their name? My sophomore year of high school

I completed a two week program at the Head Start Lowell Facility. There were thirteen children

in the classroom to which I was assigned from age four to six. Every day, I served them

breakfast and lunch, entertained them in their free time, escorted them to recess, and taught them

how to write and enhance their social skills. The children and I became extremely attached to

each other by the end of two weeks. There was one child in particular whom I will never forget.

Her name was Miracle. She was four; her mother only nineteen. Every day when Miracle

walked into the classroom, tears streamed down her face. However, the second she saw her

friends and began to “cook food” in her miniature kitchen, her tears transformed into a bright

smile. Miracle came to class every day in the same outfit she had worn for a week straight,

regardless of the food stains and dirt that covered her clothes. Every day, she carried around

the aroma of cigarette smoke on her scrawny, innocent body. A couple times, she even

came in with her shoes on the wrong feet.

The desire I had to take Miracle home with me, buy her some adorable outfits, and give

her a safe place to live strengthened minute by minute. On the last day of the program, I took the

bus home with a group of children to see what their living conditions were like. Coincidentally,

Miracle was on my bus. When the bus arrived at her stop, I glanced out the window to see a

rundown old apartment with a broken railing on the front steps and tattered windows. Garbage

covered the busy streets surrounding it. Miracle and one other girl stood up. I will never forget

how she came over, hugged me and said, “Thanks for being my friend.” Then she proceeded to

walk down the aisle with her head down. At that moment I realized how grateful she was to have

someone who actually gave her attention. I watched her as she walked up her steps until she was

out of site.

Poverty is a major issue in our society right now and will only continue to worsen as

long as people turn their heads the other way. I was fortunate enough to have the most eye-

opening experience volunteering at the Lowell Head Start Facility. It was very difficult for me

to return to my ordinary life without dwelling on the poor conditions that the children had to

endure constantly. It allowed me to gain a realistic view of how a large percentage of our society

lives and left me feeling like I should do my best in the future to do more for others. This

experience has led me to believe that not everyone is blessed by the luck of the draw in life.