Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Inspires Me?

Folks, this is week 2 of my fundraising journey a.k.a “16 weeks of Inspiration." I hope that over the next 16 weeks I inspire you & you join me on my journey.

What Inspires Me? I grew up in Miami an awkward kid. I did not have many friends. I was not very good at sports, interested in school and my parents were always fighting. I didn’t really like school either, I got C’s & D’s.

When I was in the 6th grade, Mrs. Hernandez was casting the Thanksgiving play , “The Turkey & The Pumpkin.“ She was looking for volunteers. I looked around and saw that nobody was raising their hand. “I’ll do it,” I said. Another boy, Michael Jauregui, volunteered to be the Turkey. We rehearsed and performed at the Thanksgiving Assembly in the school cafeteria two weeks later.

I remember standing on the stage in my cardboard pumpkin costume, looking from the stage at all of the kids in the cafeteria. They were looking at ME. Wow, I was making them laugh. I felt like someone special that day. I had never felt that way before.

I wrote a play the following year in the 7th grade and performed it with Sylvia Lopez, the prettiest girl in the 7th grade. I auditioned for a performing arts high school in the 9th grade and got in. No one else from my junior high did. My senior year, I auditioned for a number of colleges, was accepted at Southern Methodist University and received a full tuition scholarship for 4 years. I was going to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.

That play changed my life. The arts changed my life. It gave me purpose. It helped me grow from an awkward kid with few friends to a confident man with an ever-growing community of friends and family. Many people go their whole lives wondering where it is they belong and never sure. I was lucky.

That is why I am at Pyramid. That is what inspires me everyday. I want to make sure that everyone, regardless of age or ability, has the same opportunity that I had as a boy. The opportunity to connect to your truest self. Because that is what the arts do. They connect you to who you really are, and when you do, it feels good. AND when you truly connect with yourself, you have the power to bring joy to not only yourself, but so many other people.

I have raised $491.93 towards my goal of $3,000 for Pyramid's program to date. Amazing! Thank you all who have contributed to date. Let’s keep the journey going.

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7th grade

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