“I cannot say one individual has inspired me to pursue my dreams, but there have been many great people with qualities and accomplishments I admire who have given me hope and a drive to fight for my aspirations. President Theodore Roosevelt is a man I admire for his national spirit and his willingness to fight for our country. Roosevelt was highly patriotic, and I find it heart warming.
A more recent American figure, Billy Joel, is a musician who has very deep songs. I like “Piano Man.” Joel finds the good in people even in a place that’s not so friendly, and he is just a jolly character living his life in a strange world. His music spoke to me in a way I cannot describe, but I became very happy.
Both figures give me inspiration to chase my dreams, and I hope that through my efforts I someday can be a role model for others.”
Birdville High School, North Richland Hills, Texas
“You can definitely be inspired by someone you’ve heard about, but I think that we are all inspired most by the people around us. My cousin-in-law is a really smart guy. He’s so well-rounded, flexible, and optimistic at the same time that almost nothing can bring him down. His character showed and proved to me that to have a good or a bad day is totally up to you.
As I was going through the depressing phases of growing up, I learned to look for the brighter side of things. Time went by, and I got so much happier -- so much more grateful and appreciative of the things and people around me. Instead of letting me grieve about my problems like I used to, he taught me to pick myself up and do something about it. To at least try. Living in this society is undoubtedly rough, and that’s why advice like this is so vital. It is, no doubt, one of the most important life lessons I’ll ever learn.”
Martin Luther King High School, Riverside, Calif.