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Gallaudet Univeristy
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Honorable Mention Essay Winner: 9-14 Age Group

“Active in Atlanta”

Emily Ibarra
Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
Clarkston, GA

My goal is to be a good helpful person and help people to be happy. I want to encourage friends, family, and kids. I care about them. I help my friends with advice. I help my family with important things. I love kids and I always say, "You can do it," or "Be yourself." I donate old clothes, toys and more that I don't want. It is exciting to help people because it is fun to help.

I'm always there for friends. When they're under stress about something or think inappropriate thoughts, like in a negative way, I give them advice and it helps them. Sometimes I have been through the same experience they're going through too. Whenever I see my friends have sad faces, I go to them and ask what's wrong. Sometimes they won't tell me because they think I don't understand, but I do. I cheer them up and feel great to see their happy faces on. I enjoy seeing my friends being happy and having fun instead of being depressed or sad.

I love to help my family. I help my family with our garden. I babysit my cousins while my aunts and uncles leave them with my grandparents. I play with them. I make funny faces, and tell them, "Eww, your socks smell," and "Oh, now it's time to change your diapers." I show their diapers to them and they giggle. I shake my head and say, "It was not funny."I help my grandma clean the house. While I clean the bathroom, she has music on and she dances. I laugh because it is funny. I go around the house to see if anything is not finished. I enjoy cleaning the house just to keep myself busy. I enjoy helping my family to make us all happy.

This year, my class and I read books to first graders. When I saw them, they smiled and sat on floor, waiting to hear a book. My friend, Amir, and I were together with two cute girls. One girl laughed at the pictures in the book. When we finished reading, one pony-tailed girl sat with me and read the book to me. When she didn't know how to sign the word, I signed it for her. She read it and she nodded because it made sense. I feel awesome because I like to read books to kids. I started reading books to kids when I was in sixth grade, and this year I did it again. That's so cool because I help them to read.

I had a lot of old toys and clothes that I didn't want or need. I told my mom that I wanted to donate. My mom and I went around the house and found my old toys and clothes. We put them in bags and put them in the car. We drove to Goodwill; we donated old our things to Goodwill. I felt wonderful, because I didn't waste or throw things away and cause problems for the Earth by filling up a landfill. I don't waste things; I give unwanted things to my friends or go to a place to donate them. I gave my favorite toys to my cousins so my aunts and uncles wouldn't have to use their money for toys.

All the things I have mentioned are fun and I enjoy them. You should do the same as I did because it helps people and makes you feel proud like I do. I'm not finished; I'm continuing do to do these things, helping kids to read, helping friends, and reducing the trash. I hope you will do as I do. I want you to help and I want all of us to make the world a better place.