02/18/06 — Inspiration: Against daunting obstacles, students demonstrate courage

View Archive

Inspiration: Against daunting obstacles, students demonstrate courage

You might not know the names of the five students chosen by the Wayne County Counselors Association as examples of courage and determination.

You might not know, for example, the story of Morris Stocks, the 7-year-old Brodgen Primary School student who has proudly earned the right to attend a regular classroom next year after fighting the autism that makes such a move difficult for him.

You might not know the story of Sameal Young, a fifth-grader who lost her mother to lupus and is now maintaining an A average so that she can become a doctor who helps cure the disease.

And you might not even have heard of Jenifer Kominsky. The Mount Olive Middle School student is fighting cancer and getting her education, with courage, sunshine and a whole lot of determination that would be hard to find in someone twiceher age.

And then there is Randy Odom. This young man was hit by a car and ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But don’t try to hold a door open for him, his Rosewood High School counselor said. He knows a polite young man holds the door open for his elders — and that is exactly what he is going to do. It is just one way the junior shows his classmates and teachers that there are really no limits to what he can accomplish — and that he is well on the way to becoming someone his community will be very proud of someday.

Hurdles don’t stop Southern Wayne High School’s Anna Jones. A victim in a horrible car accident, she had a choice — give up or excel — and she has chosen the latter, with style. A little more than a year ago, her chances of living seemed slim, but today she is getting ready to try out for cheerleading. She never let up, never gave up and inspired her classmates and teachers in the process.

These young people have stories that alternately bring a tear to your eye and make you smile. They understand that life is a precious gift worth fighting for and enjoying, no matter what obstacles you face.

Their examples are inspirations to all of us who sometimes can’t see the blessings that surround us — or who do not understand that a little bit more effort and a “just do it” attitude are all that is required to turn a life of struggle into one of accomplishment.

The five young people honored by the county’s counselors are some of the best Wayne County has to offer — already accomplished and wise at very young ages.

They have already made us proud — and they should teach us a few lessons, too.

Published in Editorials on February 18, 2006 11:37 PM