Valentine’s Day: the Best or Worst Holiday?

Why Valentine’s Day is the Worst and You Cannot Change My Opinion

By Jasper Curtis ’22

If you ask someone what they thought of Valentine’s Day, you would probably get a generic and basic answer: “Valentine’s Day is about spending time with your significant other,” “this day is all about caring for others,” “I LOVE Valentine’s Day.” However, if you were to ask me what I think of Valentine’s day, I would say: I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY. 

While my verbal answer to you would be thorough, as well as funny and rehearsed, allow me to express my true feelings on this day here, for public record. Valentine’s Day is nothing but a profitable scheme for corporations to feed on for easy money. Tell me? Who really benefits from Valentine’s Day? If you said Walmart you would be CORRECT. Target, Burger King, Lowes or Pepboys would also be acceptable answers. Buying your significant other chocolates, flowers, or an oil change is not something that should be required and made special on a certain day; it should be the BARE MINIMUM. Why would you treat your other half as special on just one day?

Because Walgreens told you to? I propose a new celebration for February 14th, to replace Valentine’s Day. Instead of taking your significant other to an unoriginal dinner or buying them 50% off KFC, relax and stay indoors and watch the Sonic The Hedgehog movie, released in 2020. It has the biggest opening weekend for a film based on a video game and it has Jim Carrey in it. What more can I say to convince you to STOP CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY?

Valentine’s Day is Worth Celebrating At Hebron

By Jakub Diakonowicz ’23

Valentine’s Day happens once a year on February 14th. The day honors two priests: Valentine of Rome, and Valentine of Terni. Both of them were beheaded by the same person, Claudius II. After Claudius made marriage illegal for military purposes, Valentine of Rome decided to secretly marry people, and was killed for that. Valentine of Terni was beheaded for two things: helping prisoners escape, and, while in jail, falling in love with the jailor’s daughter.

He sent her valentines and her father was not too happy about it.

 The “loving” day has a brutal history, but it is celebrated all around the world. Of course, some people don’t want to celebrate, and that’s okay, but should it bother them that others do? No! Some people are happy and some aren’t, it’s the cycle of life. Valentine’s Day is worth celebrating, and before you ignore me, hear me out first.

1. It’s happened for so long that it’s become a tradition

We have been celebrating Valentine’s Day since before literally everyone alive today was born. Therefore, it became a tradition for many people, so why would we stop?

2. An extra step to keep the love going

It’s the one day that you can expand your love to a partner beyond what you have reached so far. It’s an additional measure to keep the love going/deepening it. 

3. Even if you are alone, you can bond with people

Who said Valentine’s Day is only for couples? I mean, sure, it is treated as a day for couples, but you can spend it with friends or other people who don’t have a partner. Or even animals. People love animals. They make our lives less miserable and stressful.

4. It brings people and families together

It’s a bonding day. Families and friends will always accept gifts from you, as long as you do it from the “heart.” Remember: if you share the love with your friends, you can express it on that day too.

5. It makes people happy

Spending time together always brings joy and happiness to people. Especially on this day.

6. A good time to ask your crush out

If it feels like you need to have a date for this day, guess what? If the person you are interested in is free, you can use the occasion to ask them out. There is a high chance they will say yes. 

7. To recognize the actions of the people closest to us

If you are on the receiving end, remember to recognize the action. The person probably took a lot of time to plan and wonder what they should get. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s better to buy something no matter the day, but on this day it’s BETTER to get something for your partner if you have one (BOYS LISTEN TO THAT).

8. A special day for expressing love

Let’s look back at it and think how it is a love day, and how there are a lot of ways to express love, such as buying things or hand-making them, or even organizing a day to spend with the person.

What do the teachers at Hebron do for Valentine’s Day?

Mrs. Nadeau gives her kids little chocolate for two weeks starting February 1st. I don’t know about you guys, but eating chocolate every day for two weeks as a little kid from my parents would be amazing.

Mr. Kangas cooks a special dinner, but before Covid, he would reserve their favorite restaurant in California. I know it seems crazy, but he lived there. WOW Mr. Kangas you are romantic.

Mrs. Waterman’s husband doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but to make up for that he makes every Monday feel like it. I think many would be jealous of that.

Mrs. Van Burskirk celebrates Galentine’s Day. Basically, she is doing a girl’s night. #WomenInPower

Couples at Hebron!

Winterlude: Science Nerd Road Trip

By Calvin Grover ’22

Dr. Swenton’s parent’s house, where the group stayed for two nights

I am very proud of the fact that I am a nerd. I also love to take road trips. So when one of my favorite faculty members, Dr. Swenton, offered a science nerd road trip, I was immediately interested. This road trip was a part of a new tradition at Hebron Academy, known as Winterlude. Winterlude consists of three days of experiential learning outside of the classroom, taking place in January, several weeks after students return from winter break. Though the history of Winterlude only spans two years, it has included fantastic activities such as ice climbing in Grafton Notch, watching musicals on Broadway, backcountry skiing in the foothills of Western Maine, and of course, a science nerds road trip to northern Vermont. 

Winterlude provides an excellent opportunity for students to try something completely new with their friends, removed from the stresses of the classroom. In January of 2021, the first ever Winterlude celebrated the ending of an extended period of online classes, letting friends reunite in person for the first time since the fall term. During this time I had the opportunity to pursue ice climbing, trying a new sport and pushing myself outside my comfort zone, all while documenting the adventure in a short video.

Aaron Han ‘23 exploring a frozen Lake Champlain

When Winterlude returned in 2022, I chose the road trip to Vermont, hoping to see a different part of New England with my friends. Again, I brought my camera along, but this time I primarily focused on photography. Visiting the Living Shores Aquarium in North Conway, New Hampshire, our group interacted with various aquatic and avian creatures, such as stingrays and lorikeets. Further north, our party visited the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, where we learned about the ecological history of the region, through fossil displays, interactive exhibits and a documentary film. 

For me, this trip was a much needed break from the constant pressure of classes and college applications, and still managed to be educational. Winterlude affords students the opportunity to try out new things, visit new places, and learn without expectations or stress. This may be my final year at Hebron, but I have no doubt that Winterlude will continue to enrich student’s experiences for years to come.

Nola Goodwin ‘23 pictured with three Lorikeets
Aaron Han ‘23 pictured next to a fossil specimen at the ECHO Leahy Center

Winterlude: Broadway Trip

By Nora Tobey ’24

For Winterlude, I went to New York to see Broadway shows. Carlos, Noa and I formed our little group of three people and walked all over New York. Spending too much money, eating pizza, waiting for the musicals to start, stuffing Playbills into coat pockets. I had almost too much fun. But that was only after I got over the overwhelming fear of being in a big city I’d never been to before. Now I should probably get to the point where I talk about the three shows I went to see. 

First show. SIX was loud, and I loved it so much. I’ve listened to the cast recording multiple times, but that show was made to be seen live. There were a few times that Carlos thought it was a concert and sang along loudly, and I was embarrassed for him. I bought a few souvenirs from the merch stand while Carlos bought almost the entire thing.

Second show. Hadestown was a masterpiece. When we went to see it, it was most of the original cast. I think there were only two or three different people. The set was gorgeous, and the lighting was immaculate. It was so fun to watch, and I loved every second of it. I also got really hooked on the music and I listen to it at least once a day now.

We also went to a panel with some of Mr B’s friends, who were awesome. Some were actors, others were directors or writers, and some had done all three. I learned a lot in that short span of time. For example, separating your worth from your job, doing new things that scare you, embracing insecurities, and accepting failure. Also, a few gags like going on antidepressants sooner and finding other, more stable, things to do. Carlos and I had to leave early because our show started earlier than everyone else’s.    

And the final show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This was the only one that wasn’t a musical. I had read the book, which is still a play, but it was so much better to see it happen in person. The special effects were absolutely flawless—the lighting, the rippling time travel effect of the stage, the pool that opened up at the front, the dementors flying in your face, and even the illegal picture Carlos took of Delphi’s madness. I could ramble about how it looked forever. Another thing I loved about it, the gay tension between Albus and Scorpius. They aren’t technically gay, but you can just tell.  

And then the bus ride home was great. Noa, Carlos and I took the small van with Ms. Alt, and got to sing show tunes and Disney songs. This is where I learned the surprising fact that I’m more of a theater kid than Carlos. Then, when we stopped, Mr B. drove our bus and sang The Book of Mormon (which is one of my favorite musicals) with Noa and I. Carlos kept asking me if Mormons were okay (because I’m an ex-Mormon). Afterwards, I fell asleep, and the next thing I knew it was 1 A.M. and we were home.   

All in all, I loved going to New York, and missed it the first few days we were back. I would totally go again, and recommend it to anyone interested.  

I Believe in a World

By Abrielle Johnson ’23

A feminist: a person who advocates for women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. I believe in a world where this term does not become an insult to describe overly “emotional” women. I believe in a world where this term isn’t ridiculed and used in extremely unnecessary ways to label people, such as “Femi-Nazi.” Something I, and probably every other women’s rights activist, have been called many times before. I believe in a world where not only women will identify as feminists, but men will join in and not be afraid to call themselves one as well. Something men fail to realize is that feminism not only benefits women, but themselves as well. Instead of being called weak or emasculated for showing signs of emotion, men can live in a world where they are allowed to express their thoughts and feelings without getting hated on. But most importantly, I believe in a world where the term “feminism” doesn’t even have to be a thing anymore. 

Is it foolish to think that the world could ever reach a place of gender equality? At times it feels impossible, with endless amounts of women coming forward with sexual assault charges every day. With countless amounts of women going missing on the streets for simply walking home alone. With all the women getting cut off on their thoughts and theories during business meetings. With little girls growing up thinking their only reason for existence is to appeal to the male gaze. Is it foolish of me to have at least a sliver of hope that one day these habits of our society will be dropped?

Maybe. One thing I know for sure is that if hope is lost, there is a zero percent chance of change. Perhaps the world may not reach a total agreement of gender equality, but maybe, just maybe, enough people will enough for it to change. 

Women are strong. Women are smart. And by the unpopular belief of men, women are incredibly funny. 

I believe in a world where women can walk home alone at night without being scared for their lives. I believe in a world where women can speak without being interrupted on important subject matters. I believe in a world where little girls no longer focus their attention on their looks, but on their brains instead. I believe in a world where men can express their feelings, and are able to partake in what would be perceived as a “feminine activity” without being called “gay.” I believe in a world where the word feminism doesn’t even exist anymore. I believe in gender equality.

I Have a Dream, Too

By Kate Hashiya ’24

My dream is to be happy. I am happy when I see people smile. I see more smiles around me when I’m being the best version of myself. 

Since Adam and Eve were created, people have been fighting for happiness. Even in the darkest times, we all live hoping that someday, we will be happier. I want to chase my dream without anything stopping me. I want to go anywhere and call it home. I want to keep having hope that tomorrow will be a better day. 

This is the reason I came to Hebron Academy. 

From over 20 countries, we all make Hebron our home. 

We care for each other, and suddenly the room feels warmer. 

We give each other a hug whenever we need some. 

We ask them to come with us, whenever someone is lost. 

We hear the laughter, and it makes the whole community smile. 

We live the day, and we can say it was a wonderful day when we fall asleep at night. 

If 300 people and a few animals can share happiness and home, why can’t 8 billion people and 8 million creatures share happiness and earth?

I have a dream, too, that everyone has a place to call home.

I have a dream, too, that everyone and everything is fulfilled with love. 

I have a dream, too, that every animal, plant, and planet will share happiness. 

I have a dream, too, that nobody will be left alone in the corner of the world.

I have a dream, too, that the world will be filled with laughter. 

I have a dream, too, that every person and every animal can feel proud of their life when they walk to the stars. 

This is my dream.

I Have a Dream, Too

By Anthony Lombardo ’23

I sit here presently thinking about all those who don’t have access to the basic essentials of life. All those riches and precious puzzle pieces necessary for the function of my body are somehow not accessible to all. Upon reflecting, I believe that an education and an opportunity to thrive in society is necessary for every single human.

School is so expensive, but why? Adults are often stuck paying loans decades after graduating college, but why? Some families don’t even have the means to allow their children to discover the whole new world of opportunities that knowledge offers, or even discover their true potential, but why? A completely irrational concept in my eyes.

We have a duty, as a society, to ensure that every single human, whether as poor as a church mouse or stranded in the middle of the desert, has access to the key that could unlock their true passions. I find it ridiculous that a child must rely on their parents being wealthy enough to pay for an education. Somehow, a child must wish to be lucky enough to be born into the minority of wealthy families in order to have similar opportunities as others. 

Even those fortunate enough to be brought up into prosperous families/areas can suffer the torture of student loan debt. Why must most people be handcuffed every year when loans still need to be paid by the (supposed) fruits of their labor while some lazy and lucky losers feast on their extreme luck. 

Now, I’m not saying that those fortunate enough to live comfortably should not take advantage of it, but there should be an opportunity for everyone. Creating schools funded by the government in areas where children dream of what could have been, or what if, would not only open doors for those individuals, but also reward society. A place where everyone has a key to the lock would create a more prosperous and efficient society.

Though I can’t create a change if I stand alone, the support of others would veer this idea to be more powerful than any individual. A clear majority has suffered the price of knowledge. A clear majority has dreamed about thriving in whatever aspect of life only certain keys unlock. A clear majority acknowledges education as an essential to a human life. A clear majority should therefore stand in unison and advocate for their beliefs to create a world free of invisible barriers where free education exists and every individual can truly be free. 

At the moment, life is a game, but rigged in favor of those who have access to some cheat codes granting them an education. The light that an education brings to one’s life is truly astonishing. It unveils gold buried deep inside our brains. Now, what if everyone had the same cheat codes for this game? An even game would be in play, and cheating would no longer be relevant: everyone’s a winner. I now think to myself: what if? I hope that one day wondering what could have been will become non-existent.

Earth, Anxiety, You, and Me

By Greta Prause ’23

I grew up being afraid of drowning in my own bedroom. I noticed how it snowed less and less every year in my hometown. Thousands of people in my country lost their houses last year because of flooding. I see how my planet is suffering. “The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” This sentence is stuck in my head, and I still panic every time I hear it. Countless times I have been told that there will be no future for me—and because of me.

Global warming and its effects have become an incredibly important topic in our society during the last few years. “Fridays For Future,” “Greenpeace,” and Greta Thunberg: I have been hearing these names more often than my own. Our society is facing a terrifying crisis: the changing of our climate. We all know that our climate is changing and affecting our world, and we all know that it is our own fault. I started worrying about it a lot, but worrying about my carbon footprint is unproductive and just stresses me out. That is why I started to change little things in my daily life. For example, I rode my bike more often, I became vegan, and I stopped using plastic bottles. Did this help? No, the planet is still getting hotter. Individual actions are statistically meaningless. Feeling like I am not helping is discouraging. I came to the conclusion that my actions on a consumer level are more of an ego boost than a way to stop climate change. While I knew that I was doing the right thing, I also knew that I do not help the world at all. I was only helping myself by boosting my ego. I lost all of my hope for my future. Whenever I heard or saw anything about global warming, there was an anxiety reaching my body, I got goosebumps, and my face turned pale. I was suffering from eco-anxiety, which is defined as a constant worry about our planet, the state of earth, and the concern for all living inhabitants present and future. Society told me that this anxiety is an irrational fear that needs to be overcome, one that meditation and healthy coping mechanisms will fix. I thought that the only way to be hopeful again is action from everyone. Now I know that engaging with my community through what I’m passionate about can help. None of my individual actions are saving the planet, but they can pave a path to a better planet and future. That is why it is so important to let people know what they can do. Here is what you can do:

Use a recyclable bottle,

Reduce your waste,

Walk little distances,

Stop using those stupid plasic plates,

Pick up trash when you see it,

Reduce flying on an airplane,

Only buy local and seasonal food.

I now believe—and tell my anxiety—that we can cause change if we all work together. With a lot of help and a positive attitude, we can help our planet recover. 

Way Back Home

By Kate Hashiya ’24

This is my journey back home for winter break, but it wasn’t a normal trip. Let me tell you what happened. How long would it take for you to go back home? A ten-minute car ride? Five-hour flight? Or, if you are an international student, it might take you ten hours or more. Yes, that’s me. My name is Kate Hashiya, and I came all the way from another continent, a country called Japan. It takes me fifteen hours to get back home… if everything goes normally. 

I left Hebron Academy on December 18th, 2021 at two A.M.. I had a transit flight through Texas. I arrived at Boston Logan airport, and I departed for Texas by six A.M. It was all going great until I arrived in Texas, until the part where my ticket didn’t tell me which gate I was supposed to go. I texted my dad, (trust me, my dad knows everything) and he told me I’m flying with Japan Airlines. I was waiting at the gate by JAL, and they started loading people a few minutes after. It was at that moment that I found out that there were two flights departing at the same time to the same place.

I ran to the other gate, where my real flight was. There was only one thing in my mind; WHY IS DALLAS AIRPORT SO HUGE???? I ran for five minutes, and I still didn’t see my gate. I finally got to the real gate, and by the time I got there, they had already closed the door. 

I asked the lady there for help, and they quickly asked me for all my forms. I was relieved for a second that I still might be able to get on the flight. They then asked me for the PCR testing form. I showed them a paper I got from the school, thinking that it was all I needed. It was unacceptable. I needed the form that the Japanese government set, which meant I couldn’t get on my flight with the English form I had. I was so scared that my dad would be so mad and wouldn’t let me go home anymore, but they told me they could book the next flight for me, which was the day after. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, so I called my dad again. He was so surprised, and he was talking to the staff by the gate. They came to a solution of keeping me in the airport for a night. They had a place where they took care of the children under fifteen years old during the transit. Although I was sixteen, they could keep me there since I couldn’t reserve a hotel, and I needed somewhere to sleep. 

I hated my country for a moment, but it was a rare experience to stay in an airport. A nice lady named Noriko san (she had the same name as my mom!) took me to the PCR testing center, so I could get a proper Japanese form. She looked evil in my eyes when she told me I couldn’t get on a plane, but she was so nice as we talked and spent some time together. I didn’t sleep well that night, and it was so weird to walk around the huge empty airport at two in the morning. I got to the right gate the next day, and thanked Noriko san again. A long long twenty four hours later, I finally got on the plane. 

Somehow, the thirteen hour flight felt very short. I was mostly sleeping the whole time. I knew there was still a whole process I needed to go through to meet my dad, and there was one thing I still didn’t know. It was whether or not I needed to quarantine in a hotel. The Japanese government announced that people from Texas needed to be quarantined, but not Maine. Even my dad couldn’t give me the answer. I was waiting in line to get my form stamped at the counter when I heard the guy in front of me ask the staff if he needed to quarantine for three days if he visited Texas only for the transit, and I finally heard the good news: The answer was no! I walked up to the counter, and I told her that I came from Maine. She marked zero on my form, and I was finally allowed to meet my dad. 

It was already dark when I got out of the airport. It was already eleven P.M.. My dad rushed from the hotel, as he didn’t expect to see me that day. We hugged each other, and my dad told me he was not doing this again. That night, my dad drove for seven hours north from Tokyo. I slept through the night in the back seat. When I woke up, it was six A.M., and we were in the ferry terminal in Aomori. Our ferry left at ten A.M.. We were both so tired that we slept through the ferry ride. 

When we arrived in Hokkaido, I could finally see the roads I’m familiar with. It was as if I were dreaming, and I couldn’t be more surprised or excited. On the way back home, I heard more surprising news. My family moved!!! I’m going back to a new house!!! I was tired of surprises at that point, but I got very excited and everything started to seem real. I could finally meet my mom. She hugged me and welcomed me to our new house. 

That was the end of my four-day journey. It was the most chaotic four days of my life, but being able to spend even ten days with my family made it worth it.  

Top Ten Reasons You Should Be an Ethan Fan

By an Anonymous Ethan Fan

10. Zero problems

There is nothing wrong with Ethan. Many have tried to find even a single issue with this fine gentleman, but his record is spotless. When you really think about it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t obsess over him.

9. He’s got loving fans

When you become an Ethan fan, you are joining a community of millions. Everywhere you go, people will now be able to relate to you. You may not see them, but Ethan superfans are everywhere.

8. He is a musician

If you already thought Ethan was too cool, you might die when you hear that he also plays multiple instruments. As well as being a professional recorder and drums player, he also is very good at digital audio recording. He has released amazing pieces such as his cover of “My Heart Will Go On” from the hit movie Titanic, which he performed live to hundreds of people.

7. He is an athlete

Ethan is the best swimmer on the Hebron Academy swim team. He has impressive times in the freestyle events. He’s also an incredible freestyle skier, and an amazing defensive soccer player.

6. He makes great costumes

Ethan has created many amazing pieces of costume design over the years, most notably his Captain America cosplay.

5. He is a genius

Ethan is very smart.

4. He is very charismatic

Once you see Ethan speak, you WILL fall in love. He has many moments of public speaking that could be considered the best speeches of all time, but his most famous is the speech in which he talked about how much he likes water. His speeches have been an inspiration to millions.

3. There is a lot of information about him

 If you want to learn more about Ethan Frumiento, you can find it easily by following the famous instagram account, @big_ethan_fan87. This account posts updates on Ethan frequently, keeping you up to date with all the Ethan news.

2. His quotes are world-renowned

Much like his public speaking, everyone has been inspired by an Ethan quote. I don’t know where I’d be in life without his wisdom, and I’m sure many can relate.

1. He looks good

The picture below speaks for itself.

Community Service: What it Means to Me

By Tucker Kenney ’24

Over the course of my fifteen year lifetime, I have had the privilege of experiencing some of the most exciting, fun, and fascinating times of my life through community service. Community service is something that often goes overlooked, and doesn’t get the recognition that it should. However, the impacts that community service itself has on others can be tremendous and incredible. To me, community service means providing some source of help, entertainment, or just simply helping out the community in any way possible. I have done this in several ways during my time, and I hope it is something that I will continue to do, because as I mentioned above, its impacts can be tremendous. I enjoy helping others because it makes me feel accomplished, and that I have helped someone in need. Community service goes beyond just food drives, car washes, and penny drives. Community service can be anything as simple as holding the door for someone at the grocery store. Now, it may seem cliche, but it’s true. Sometimes all someone needs is something like that to make their day just a bit better

One of the ways that I personally have been able to grow my community service skills and perform them is through Woodside One Wheelers. Woodside One Wheelers is a performing circus arts group based out of Topsham, Maine at my elementary school, Woodside Elementary School. I have been a member of Woodside One Wheelers, also known as W.O.W., for about nine years. I started performing with W.O.W. in grade one, and am still a member to this day. As a group we not only perform, but help the local community. W.O.W. often runs food drives, fundraisers, and benefit performances for local charities or organizations. W.O.W. has taken me to many places that I would not have been able to go otherwise, including the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade and Street Performance, The Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Parade, The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Philadelphia 76er’s Halftime Show, and many more. These trips have allowed us to provide entertainment and help communities. I remember one specific event that made a lasting impression on me. This was during our Philadelphia trip in 2018 when we were performing and teaching at a downtown YMCA in Philadelphia. This performance was especially important to me because it made me happy to see all the children’s faces light up after seeing a unicycle for the first time. This experience may not seem like a typical community service event, but to me it is one of the best examples of giving back to the community. We not only taught these kids how to juggle and to perform with a group, but we taught them how to set a goal and work for it. That is special, and something that many children don’t have exposure to growing up. Once again, making these kids’ days just a little bit better left me with a smile on my face and gave me the feeling that I had helped and given back to the community. 

Another opportunity that has allowed me to provide community service and help local communities is the Hebron Round Square. Round Square has taken me on many adventures already, and I hope to continue these adventures for my entire high school career. Through Round Square, I have participated in many events such as trash cleanup along Station Road, camping trips, and volunteer trips. Similar to W.O.W., I have one experience that stands out from others, and I wanted to talk a little more about it. MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program is a hunger prevention program based out of Brunswick, Maine, not far from my childhood home. The goal of MidCoast Hunger, otherwise known as M.C.H.P.P., is to put food in the kitchens of local families in need who are struggling to find food and meals. Through Hebron Round Square, I was able to take on my own individual project and plan a volunteer opportunity at M.C.H.P.P.. About five of us went to Brunswick and volunteered for about four hours helping make soup, cut vegetables, and plan meals. This experience was special to me because I was able to give back to a local organization that is close to my heart. It felt heartwarming to go home knowing that we had provided food for families who did not have three meals a day in a warm home. 

Creating bonds with friends and getting together to help out the communities around us is something that I will always remember and value for the rest of my life, and I hope to continue doing it. As was mentioned in my brief explanation of my W.O.W. performance in Philadelphia, my community service has not only been special to me because I have helped others around me, but that I have also been able to learn valuable lessons within myself. The community service I have provided has allowed me to pass on lessons about not giving up and setting goals to achieve eventually. To me, community service is about giving back to others around you in order to make a difference and a better world.