Daring To Dream

Meghan - Smithville, Tennessee
Entered on November 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I grew up and live in a small town where small mindedness is simply a way of life. I attended school in this environment from kindergarten until the end of my eighth grade year. I thought nothing of this way of living and thinking, much as all of the students here do not. However, as I entered a new high school in the ninth grade, I also, unknowingly, entered a world of broader thinking and greater acceptance. I shook off my old skin of small minded living and thinking and slipped into a new, better fitting skin; one where I began to thrive and push myself. From this I learned a lot about who I am and what I believe.

The new ‘land of opportunity’ thrust upon me opened many doors and opened my eyes to a higher way of thinking. I learned the art of leadership, mastered the skill of self-motivation, worked through various hardships and obstacles, and, more than anything, I learned how to dream.

I soon discovered that passion is the key ingredient in the steps that lead to achieving anything great that one may desire. Passion lends hope and sparks vision. I learned to always stand strong in my faith and beliefs and never give up even when others try to put me down.

I recently watched the “CNN Heroes” on television and was left awestruck by the impact that these incredible individuals have made on the world. One man’s story particularly inspired me. He had devoted his life developing a rescue mission donating to African people who were less fortunate and were in dire need of help. When he nostalgically spoke of the mission, he said that it was the most powerful thing he had ever felt. He realized that because he had followed his dream, he had opened countless doors of opportunity for others. His story has inspired many, including me, to follow their own dreams and aspirations in life. Hearing stories like this light a fire in me. I plan to pursue a college education and then use that education to better the lives of others who are in need across all walks of life.

As a little girl I dreamt of being a princess, marrying the prince, and living happily ever after. As I’ve grown older, my dreams have changed and developed through many stages of adolescence and now into young adulthood. The desire for greatness in those dreams did not wane, and I strongly believe in my power to make them into a reality.

So I nod my head to Eleanor Roosevelt’s wisdom and firmly say that I believe in the beauty of my dreams and that one day they will become a reality and, because of that, the future is mine.

This I believe.