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The Heart of Writing…. Paying it Forward

I have long since been enamored with writing and words. At one point, I was determined to read and learn the entire dictionary at the determined age of 12. I started out with the letter “A,” but did not get much further.

In school, I excelled in English classes and consistently received “A’s” in my writing assignments. In my freshman year of high school, the English teacher selected me to be the class secretary due to the fact that I had the highest grade in English.

I aided my son with his writing assignments throughout his years in school. Since I had a knack for it, and he didn’t, (funny, how genetics work), I was exuberant to take on the teacher’s writing challenges. I saw this effort as a win-win situation that would increase his chances to get into college and satisfy my urge to help him and write. (He did get in!)

Of course, I helped him compose his personal statement for admission to college almost 10 years ago. Alright, I admit that I wrote it. He was accepted and even received perks!

My son is an adult and doing well. As much as he disliked and struggled in school, he was motivated and disciplined to pursue and graduate with a Master’s degree. I’d like to think that I had a positive impact in his education.

Fast forward to a few years ago….my desire to continue to use my gift of writing turned into a mission. I no longer had a student, my son. Combined with my passion for education and desire to assist teenagers to gain entry into college, I decided to pay it forward.

I volunteered my time and written skills to high school seniors at a local high school. It was different this time than it was when I was helping my son. It was an unpleasant chore for him, but these college bound students were eager and appreciative.

Applying to colleges is a stressful time for students. Some appeared almost desperate for the assistance and a few had no clue how to start or develop their topic effectively.

I could see relief and hope in their faces after we had completed the review together, and they were satisfied with the modifications and suggestions. It made our partnership a highly productive and impactful one, even if it only lasted about 20 minutes.

I reviewed, corrected grammar and punctuation, asked clarifying questions, gave them ideas and sought thought provoking answers from them in order to develop a persuasive sentiment to enhance their chances to enter college.

In just 10 hours, or so, over a few days, I was able to ease and potentially change the course of more than 20 college student journeys. One student’s mother praised me and saw the stress melt away from her son’s demeanor after my first session with him.

She hired me to privately assist him a couple of additional times. They both were so grateful that they invited me to his high school graduation, and she wrote me a kind, heartfelt thank-you note.

Providing guidance to the students by helping them enhance their personal college admission statements has been the most rewarding volunteer experience I have had. I didn’t get paid to do it for money, but I received much more than that in the form of dividends.

It was as if each one them deposited their gratitude directly into my heart. Paying it forward payed me back with compounded interest: personal fulfillment and the desire to keep on giving my heart and gift of writing for this worthy cause.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Happy Read, True Story

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