When you think about what being a hero means to you, what do you think? I guess most kids my age think about Batman, he is my favorite super hero because he doesn’t really have any extra powers, he’s just out to catch the bad guys. Anyway, there are a lot of kinds of heroes and you can have more than one. Usually I think people consider a hero to be someone they look up to because the person inspires them to do more and be better.
On Wednesday, August 6th, I was named a Young Hero by the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I can’t really explain how that felt. I toured the museum and saw exhibits about great people like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa and saw all the people who died trying to help others after the 9/11 attacks in New York. Then later in the afternoon I was on stage receiving a medal of honor from this same museum. They will have my picture and my story about Brae’s Brown Bags in their museum as an exhibit. It doesn’t really seem right but at the same time it feels good.
There were 13 other kids honored who are all making big changes in the lives of the people around them. There was a boy who is helping mentor his peers and also raising money for pediatric cancer because he has had cancer and he lost a leg during his battle. There was a girl who is helping people who are in the LGBT community in her high school. She is helping fight against bullying and show people to be accepting of each other. One of the girls creates gardens all over to help war veterans have a place where they can find peace. I stood on the same stage as a young girl who stood up out of her wheel chair with braces on both her legs as we heard the story about how she petitioned the American Girl doll makers and told them there should be a doll with a wheel chair. All of these kids, all of them, definitely heroes, doing great things. Me though, a hero? Really?
My Mom said she nominated me for the award because I’m showing all kids in my community that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you see a place where change is needed and you set out to make that change, then you’re a leader. She said I help her to want to be a better person and that when she sees me being a leader and helping to feed the hungry then that also makes me her hero.
I would like to thank TD Bank who sponsored the event at the National Liberty Museum and also all the people at the National Liberty Museum who said really nice things about me and everyone else. I hope they know they make us kids want to do more because they encourage us.
To all the kids I stood on stage with, trying to take selfies! All of you are pretty cool people and I hope we meet again.