Candle is a program that teaches children about the problems of drugs,divorce, friendship, and all the troubles of growing older. When I joined Candle,it was just for something to do. Candle uses puppets to teach kids. At first Ithought it was stupid, but I continued to go anyway.
In Candle we learned howto work the puppets and we memorized our lines. I still didn't see the point. Ididn't see how all these kids could learn from a puppet show.
After about sixmonths, we put on our first performance. I was so nervous to get up in front ofabout 65 third-graders. When we got inside the classroom, all the kids looked atus. I realized they look up to us because we're in high school. As we did ourshow, the kids stared, laughed, and really got into it. When we were done, abouthalf the class had their hands up. They told us stories about their lives. Thekids related to the puppets. They were telling us about their divorced parents oreven how it feels when their parents drink.
I realized the difference we made.We made them realize there are other people with the same problems and they arenot alone. Although we did not help every kid, we did help a lot of them, whichmade a difference. Not only did we help some of the kids, but we made adifference for ourselves. By helping others we improved our own self-esteem. Allthe high school students involved learned that even though we are not adults, westill can make a difference.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.