11 November 2018

Every dream starts with taking a first step. It’s a step that crosses that fine line between comfort and risk. And in the end, it always pays off.
My dream is simple—to help the lonely and hurt whose lives are plagued by uncertainty and depression. School is the perfect place for such a dream to be accomplished. I am blessed that I was able to grasp what all of high school could offer and I felt that it was my obligation and privilege to spread this blessing.
The first day of school of my last year in high school was coming to an exciting end. I made a promise to myself before school started stating that I would meet at least one new person everyday. I ended up meeting ten. However, I hadn’t taken any risk or steps into the dream I set out for myself each year coming into high school. I made myself available that day to students who were already socially active in their lives and forgotten about the ones whom I promised to help—the depressed and lonely. As I sat there during my off period, I pondered about the wasted opportunities I had that day to lend a hand, to strike a conversation, or even to say a little hello to those poor kids who wished school never existed.
Suddenly, my daydreaming became reality. A short, pudgy kid with a brilliant, gargantuan red afro slowly walked right across me looking confused and lost. The door was opened right in front of me and it was up to me to take that first step through and reach out. Doubts clouded my mind, worries about my image flashed in my mind, but at that moment I boldly whispered to myself, “take a risk” and I did.
I carefully and confidently reached out my hand and introduced myself. An intimidated and almost scared face peeked back at me and whispered, “My name is Ceres.” Ceres turned out to be a freshman who couldn’t find his 5th period class without any friends who he could call or ask for help. I remember looking into his freckled face and feeling as though I was carrying all his anxieties, stress, and uncertainty. As I guided him to his class, I probed some more information out and we got comfortable with one another. When we finally reached the entrance to his classroom I told him to call me if he ever needed anything. I tried to put myself in his shoes thinking how awkward and weird it must be for some stranger to suddenly give out his phone number and offer help. But I also knew he was smiling deep inside his heart that he had finally made a friend whom he can depend on.
Ceres and I continued to build our relationship and to this day, it amazes me how much a person can change when one simply offers his/her hand. The dark and depressed face that I first encountered that day now glowed positively and with hope. We promised each other that we would continue spreading this love to others and keeping my dream for the lonely alive.
Before I met Ceres, my eyes were only open to people who were like me—ambitious, happy, and joyful. However, I learned that there was another world outside of mine. It’s a world that advocates loneliness and hurt, floating above school campuses. I promised myself that Ceres would not be the only kid I was going to “save” from this darkness and that I would continue taking risks in spreading this love. This experience helped me realize just how easy it really is to help a person. I just had to take a risk, make that first step, and keep that vision and dream of mine ahead of me.
I hope to help many more Ceres’ in the future.

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