No Barriers Essay Contest, 3rd place

Here is the Third Place entry into the No Barriers Mindset essay contest. I like Megan's grit and determination, though I do encourage her to dream big! As a reward, we are sending her a sterling silver REACH pendant  as a bit of encouragement during those hard days ahead.



Megan Jones, 12th grade, Piqua High School, Piqua, Ohio

Although he is blind, Erik accomplished adventures and endeavors that most fully capable people would hardly even dare to attempt. He is in inspiration to thousands of people, myself included.

 If I were offered a chance to climb a mountain, or a frozen waterfall, I might be slightly apprehensive at first. However, I am a person of strong perseverance and optimism: qualities that would enable me to accomplish anything that I set my mind to. Other qualities I have to offer would be my stubbornness to beat the odds and my competitiveness to win. Growing up, students in my generation are told we “have” to do things a certain way and not to stray too far from the safe road to “success” and that if we follow our far-fetched dreams, we’ll end up defeated. However, I believe if a person has the same mind set and qualities as me, they would be able to fulfill what they desire.

When facing what seems to be impossible, youth today need to keep in mind that nothing good in life will come easy. But if they work hard towards a goal, they will accomplish tasks beyond their wildest imaginations. The best thing they can do is to remain positive and to think of the “sweet victory” that lies before them. If they can keep motivated and keep their head up no matter what, then the satisfaction of completing a task will mean so much more to them.

The No Barriers Mindset applies to my life every day. As a graduating senior, I am about to embark on the most important part of my life so far – College. Almost half of the entering freshmen at the university I am attending end up dropping out of school and I am determined to never let that happen. Although I am entering a difficult major, and although I will have to work fulltime, I know that I will be able to make it through the next six years. While the stress may make me want to give up at times, I know that I am going to be able to push through and come out on top.

While my “dreams” are nowhere near as inspiring as Erik, I still want to apply his optimism and determination to my own barriers. He has inspired me even further to keep pushing myself.

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