This I Believe

Alexandra - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on September 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve never been on the honor roll, and I’ve yet to become the ‘perfect student’. But with the help of some very inspiring people who care about the well being of future generations, they have helped me become a better person, academically, and as a whole. My mentors have taught me something very valuable, even if a child has been given up on many times in their past, it’s never to late to change. All they need is someone they can trust, someone who will believe in them no matter what.

Starting off my freshman year with bad habits that should have died long before only kept my grades down, and by my sophomore year my grade point average was so low that I was considered an “at risk student”. Looking at my school record, I was in danger of failing out of high school and not graduating, or giving up and dropping out before I saw the end of my senior year. This is when I was introduced to Youth Leaders Project, a beneficial school program for students in the same boat that I was in. Mr. Ay was my mentor; he was a teacher who didn’t care about the past, as soon as you walked into his door he welcomed you and only hoped for a brighter future.

Part of Youth Leaders Program was going to an elementary school and tutoring young students who were also at risk, whether they had family problems, social issues, or learning disabilities. Being a big buddy taught us youth leaders to become more responsible, our little buddies depended on us every day to show up on time, help them get through their homework, or to find new ways to make socializing easier.

When you help better the lives of others, you have time to reflect on your own life and take a look at where you want to be at, and the kind of person that you want to become. Anyone can become a mentor, it doesn’t matter if you make a huge impact in someone’s life, or a small impression, all that matters is that you helped to make a change in the community for the better. I believe in never giving up on anyone, because no one ever gave up on me. And if they had, well, I would have quit a long time ago.