“My term as ambassador ends in July, but I’m determined to continue giving back afterwards. I have lots of ideas.” Looking in her big brown eyes, I saw a sea of enthusiasm. “I’m a very sympathetic person as a result of all of this, which is a blessing and a curse. I’ve become a vegan because of my compassion that extends to animals as well. I just think I’m overall nicer and more grateful. When you go through difficulties, it’s hard to see your way out. But after you get through it all, I zoomed out on the big picture, and realize I’m a much better person for it. I would get stuck in little ruts, but now I have a more developed faith and
a broader view of the world. I want to do Mission trips, particularly to Rwanda. Right now I’m sponsoring a little girl in Kenya. Look, that’s her picture on the fridge," she said, pointing. "We write letters back and forth, and my donation helps support her mom and siblings with food, water and clothing, as well as medical care.” Then Karolina was off, showing me photos, her little baby shoes with the lifts, and her dogs and cats. I saw photos of her shining face with the white Arabian horse, Toledo, and the paint horse, Apache, that she rides. As I was leaving, I asked her if she had career plans. “I want to make the world
LET US BE
a better place for people who need a role model, or may be stuck in their own little ruts, wondering when it will end. I have so many future plans, and hope to be proficient in three languages by the end of my senior year. Then I may be able to participate in the Shriners Outreach Program in Panama. I also want to do the Disney College Program. I have an immense passion for Walt Disney. He is my biggest role model, a genius. I would also like to devote time to be sure they stay on the track Walt envisioned. I adore Mickey,” she grinned, and showed me her souvenirs. “There are so many things I want to do that it’s hard to narrow it down. Teach, FBI, anything to make a difference in people’s lives. I know I don’t want to work in an office. All the paths I’ve been on will pave the way for me.” Then she turned the conversation away from herself. “I’ve seen many kids in some terrible situations, far more difficult than mine. I won’t tell their story, but they make me try harder. Kids can be braver than you may think. This may sound trite, and I know I can’t make the pain any less, but I hope my life can be an example. I want them to know one thing. It’s so hard to see the big picture when you’re alone in the dark, but in the end, you’ll be glad you followed the journey."
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