Get Out There! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “It’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years,” is a quote by Abraham Lincoln on which I base my life. I would like to be remembered as a person who gave everything I did 110% effort. Among my endeavors, I am a spokesperson for the Oklahoma chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA), the Oklahoma chairperson for Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE), and the president of my school’s National Junior Honor Society.

As a representative of the AHA, I speak at schools about the importance of heart disease prevention and raise money through the Hoops for Heart and Jump for Heart programs. After watching both my grandfathers fight losing battles with heart disease, I am determined to raise awareness and money for research. My goal is to raise $100,000 for the Heart Walk by selling flip flops, as well as lobbying businesses and holding Tiara Tea Parties. My ultimate goal is to find a cure so no one else will lose a loved one to this disease.

I am also the state chair for SAFE, an organization that accepts new and used stuffed animals. After I clean them, make small repairs, and dress them in ribbons and bows, I deliver them to the Oklahoma City police and fire departments who take them on domestic violence calls involving children. The kids love them! Over the past two months, I have collected 1,000 animals and actually met some of the children who received them. It was amazing to see the impact a simple stuffed animal can have in a child’s life and how their eyes lit up with that small token.

I am also collecting discarded cell phones for the YWCA’s domestic abuse shelter that programs the phones to call 911 and gives them to women in dangerous situations. As a result of these projects, I received my school’s Model Citizen Award last year.

As National Junior Honor Society president, I strive to set a good example for others. Last year I began by leading a drive for hurricane victims in Florida, which collected over 300 items. Next I ran a canned food drive at Thanksgiving. I hit the streets to distribute 2,000 flyers and gathered an unprecedented 5,600 cans. I simultaneously conducted the Hoops for Heart Campaign, Toys for Tots Drive, and the school’s Coat Drive. These festivities spanned two weeks and resulted in 93 coats, 135 toys, and $2,000 for the AHA.

My greatest accomplishment, however, was my Pennies for Patients Drive. My peers exceeded all my hopes by donating $5,200 for the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the most of any school in Oklahoma. At the end of last school year, I was honored with the National Junior Honor Society Outstanding Service Award.

I have a great passion for living life. I am fortunate to live in the United States, have enough to eat, and a family who loves and supports me. Therefore, I feel it is my duty as a good citizen to assist those who need it. What can you do?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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