2003 Seventh Grade Winner:
Maya Shehayeb, age 12

Our Purpose in Life
    Our hopes, our dreams, and our future all lie in the hands of one principle: achieving our goals. This is not a rule. It is a dream that is yearning to be made into reality. We live it, we thrive on it, and we die for it. The very purpose of our being is to make a difference in society, to challenge ourselves constantly, and to create happiness amongst everyone.

    Achieving our first goal of making a difference in society requires some work and sacrifice on our part. When we help the less fortunate and the deprived, whether by providing food, medication or education, we feel better about ourselves because we have made others feel better. Many people offer their numerous kind deeds. The one that matters is time.

    Becoming better human beings requires constant challenges. When we are not afraid to think differently or use our strongest weapon, our brain, we overcome our obstacles. Many people are discouraged at the sight of new hurdles. The thing that distinguishes the successful is perseverance.

    Expressing ourselves in an optimistic way brings happiness to us and others. Everyone desires to be happy. Happiness results when we have a good supporting family and friends. It is a contagious thing like having a cold. When people see you being positive and on the bright side, they enjoy being with you, and consequently become happy themselves. The thing that separates us is optimism.

    Sharing our talents, gifts, and creativity with others results in a peaceful and optimistic world. Each of us was born with a gift. If each one of us contributes to this world with what we have, we realize our potential and make a difference in life.

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