How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life

In the words of the 6th President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." How do you fit within this framework? Provide specific examples.


Some seventh graders look forward to driving or dating or getting their own cell phone, but I looked forward to drinking cans of soda from a moldy refrigerator. The day I gained that privilege would be the day I joined the youth group. After years of waiting, I sat in the same room as the moldy refrigerator and the big girls - the youth room of Bethlehem Baptist Church. I went to church that night expecting to leave feeling better than when I came; instead, I left close to tears. None of the people I admired talked to me or acknowledged my existence.

I didn’t let that night stop me. I continued to attend youth meetings weekly, to grab a soda, to play volleyball with the wall, and, sometimes, to sit by myself. I went to summer camp and the other trips, hoping to find my place in the group under the influence of nightly worship services and constant encouragement to “make new friends.” Still, I saw that everyone was so caught up in their cliques that they forgot about the broken people around them; thus, they forgot about me. I don’t know why I refused to quit, but today, I’m glad I was stubborn. In my loneliness, I forgot that the rising seventh graders were approaching their right of passage into the youth group. As soon as...

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