Volunteer Reflections: John

Greetings, Starfish supporters! This summer we are especially excited to share the reflections of our current cohort of Starfish interns, who are supporting us in our social media and fundraising projects. Today’s post comes from John, who is a member of our Summer 2015 Social Media Team. He is working to create the first ever Starfish podcast!

The world’s most precious commodity rests on the availability of opportunity, whereas its greatest tragedy involves a lack thereof. An opportunity in and of itself cannot propel individuals to success. Instead we have to grasp opportunities with both hands, take a deep breath and dive in. Life can be a mental game, and our mentalities are shaped by our experiences and dispositions. This reminds me of a quote by Henry Ford: “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”

Education proves the validity of this principle more so than any other discipline. With education, young adults and children dare to dream, to overcome obstacles, to succeed. In short, an education has quickly become a precious commodity. The #HumansofStarfish demonstrate this mentality and beyond. These youths grasp at and crave educational opportunities. They do not fear hard work, but savor it; they do not bypass obstacles, but face them head-on; they do not relinquish opportunity, but grasp it with both hands, take a deep breath and dive in.

Génesis aspires to “complete my teaching degree and teach children from kindergarten up to 7th grade…I want to continue my education so I can be someone in life.” She passionately grasps at her education and wishes to teach and elevate those that come after her.

Joel serves as an inspiration to everyone presented with an opportunity for greatness: “getting a scholarship for [one of the most prestigious universities in Ecuador] was a real challenge for me. I had to do all sorts of tests and interviews. During one of them, they asked me about my father’s salary, because the scholarship only covers 60-90% of the fees and they knew he couldn’t cover the remaining 10%, which adds up to about $350 a month. After all that, I ended up receiving a 100% scholarship. It was such an incredible moment for me and my family.”

William takes pride in graduating from high school, but he also understands how the Starfish Foundation changes lives, “they’re creating a lot of opportunity. I’m really inspired by the kids, and their future; I want them to keep moving forward, and if I can help them with that in any way, then all the better.”

All of the members of the #HumansofStarfish are more than deserving of the educational opportunities presented to them, and all of them take full advantage. Imagine how many more success stories the world could write if we could expand the number of educational opportunities. We have to dare to dream, to aspire, to strive for the impossible. Together we will build a better world, one opportunity at a time.

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