Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – God Moments

Name: Megan P Brown
From: 06824, Connecticut
Grade: 12
Votes: 0

In freshman year of high school, my history teacher spent part of the
year on women’s rights. To set the tone, he posted a life-size
image of Rosie the Riveter, that heroine of World War II factory
workers, on the bulletin board. Rosie and her red bandana became a
symbol for all of us of social and gender equality. But it wasn’t
until a year later that Rosie became for me more than an abstract

When I was a sophomore, I had a series of run-ins with a group of football
players. For some reason, I became the target of nasty hallway
comments and glares. In my confusion, I started leaving school early,
and when I got home I just wanted to cry. I started having trouble
concentrating on my work, and my grades slipped from Bs to Cs.

Flash forward two months and I’m on a coach bus headed towards the Johnson City
region of the Appalachian Mountains for a church service project. As
the youngest in the group and with no friends from home, I was
terrified. Five of us were assigned to help renovate the house of a
local woman named Sherry, who had lost both her husband and her son
the year before. Her roof was in extremely bad condition, and she was
in a wheelchair. She was clearly very poor, so there was no way she
could have paid anyone to work for her.

With no warning, I was given a nail gun and about ten minutes instruction and told to
get a ladder. I had absolutely no idea how a 16-year-old like me was
supposed to put on a tin roof, but with the help of my group members,
the job was completed within a week, and with almost no problems. I
was expecting to get some thanks for our work, but not the way Sherri
did it. As we were about to walk out the door, She reached out and
grabbed my hand and wrapped her arms around me. The words she said
next will stick with me forever: “Thank you for creating my only
good memory in this home. You have done more than just help me, you
have become my family.”

Back at school in the fall, I felt oddly more confident. Having been
humiliated the year before, I was walking the halls feeling totally
different. I knew something had changed when I passed two of the
bullies on the way to class. In the past I would have flinched, but
for some reason I didn’t. I expected a reaction from them, but
after spotting me they just looked down and hurried away. It may have
been my imagination, but I think they may have picked up on the fact
that I knew how to use a nail gun. To my surprise, my new history
teacher also had a Rosie poster on his wall, and when I saw it, I
immediately connected to the caption: “We Can Do It!”

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