Focusing Beyond The Dream

12 Jan
January 12, 2012

Focusing Beyond The Dream

Kendall’s County-wining Essay on Martin Luther King
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” These powerful words were spoken by perhaps the world’s most well-known Civil Rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King achieved his goals through hard work, persistence and hope that seemed to never end. He focused on lifting others, not himself. I have long shared Dr. King’s passion for helping other individuals, my community and the world, and have tried to achieve my goals the same way he did- by working hard, never giving up and always looking to the future.

One example of this was last year. It was sixth grade and a new school. I would get sick at school and wonder why, until one day it hit me. I was anxious about everything: teachers, homework, friends. I was later able to overcome my nerves.

Fast forward to seventh grade. 

I no longer had this problem and decided that nobody else should, either. So, with the aid of my parents and school guidance counselor, I formed an organization: Ask Me Anything. It’s a program where middle schoolers who are nervous can meet and ask questions of older students. The dictionary defines persistence as: The steady pursuit of what is undertaken. Dr. King was always persistent. Even when put in jail, he never backed down. I’ve met kids who go home in tears every day because they are nervous about being in a new school. But I know from experience that things do get better if you are persistent, like Dr. King.

I also work to serve others in the nursery at my church. I do this voluntarily as my way of giving back to the community that rallied around me when I needed their encouragement during sixth grade. Dr. King aided his community when he refused to accept the ideas of racism and it changed his community. When Dr. King gave his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, he expressed that you can achieve your goals by taking small steps– first, others around you; then your community; and eventually the world.

Changing the world is a massive challenge. But it did not stop Dr. King. He was persistent with his cause and it paid off. Now the Georgia pastor has become a global icon. When the Civil Rights movement is mentioned, Dr. King is the first name that comes to mind. My goal is that someday, my program will be used nationwide so that kids in other areas can benefit from it.

Dr. King made a great change in the world and has inspired me to work hard and help others. Not just in my community, but everywhere. Dr. King has taught me to never give up, work hard and look to the future with goals. He has inspired me, along with millions, to make my dreams a reality.

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0 replies
  1. Jeff Schueler says:

    Kendall I’ve known your family for some time. I can say that they could not be more proud of you! Your desire to help others with the anxiety of new grade levels and other life changes is inspirational, keep up your will to overcome life’s challenges and use healthy coping skills. The fact you have set out to help others is amazingly kind, and a display of leadership. Congratulations!

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