Our thanks go out to Valerie Ayala Barron for her program last week. She presented four very deserving seniors with scholarships to Tarrant County College to set them on track for their futures.
The students came from varied backgrounds with numerous obstacles that they are working hard to overcome. The obstacles included living in a homeless shelter, having a child at age 16, living in a house filled with violence and drug addiction. By the time they finished telling us why they deserved the scholarships, there were few dry eyes. But the one thing they all had in common was a strength of will to rise above their surroundings. Hopefully, our contributions will help them on their way. One of our contestants from the essay contest in January wrote about optimism and what it meant to her. She didn't win a place in our contest, but her thoughts are words to live by. In her essay, one of the last to be turned in at #241, she said, "There can be challenges in our life that derail accomplishments but our ultimate challenge is motivation. We push ourselves, no one else. While we may have figures guiding us along the way, ultimately, it is our own inner-being that does it; after all, who is living our life, surely not someone else. Whatever comes to you, where you have come from, what you have done, you cannot let that stop you. In a sea of obstacles called life, optimism is all we have." Our thanks go out to Rodney Patterson for coordinating the Essay Program for us. Our hopes and prayers go out to these young people as they make their way through life. Once again, the Optimist Club lends a helping hand.