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Honorable Mention Essay: 15-19 Age Group

"That Tingling Feeling"

Jennifer Wrenn
The Learning Center for Deaf Children
Framingham, MA

Over the past few years, I have helped my community in different ways. I was raised in two communities: hearing and Deaf. I am the only Deaf child in my family. I love helping my community by making people's days brighter, because when I feel that I have made a difference, I have a fresh inspired feeling. I love having that feeling; I get excited every time because that new feeling tingles all over my body, telling me that I have to do it again, so I keep on making differences in a variety of ways. I have helped hearing people in need by doing the Walk for Hunger and Toys for Tots. I also have helped Deaf people in need by joining the Big Sister/Brother Program and helping a little sister who has a difficult family situation.

Sometimes you don't have to have a fundraiser or join an organization to help others. You can always do random nice things any day. For example, one winter day, when I was sitting in my car waiting for my mom to come out from Boston Market, I saw an old couple helping each other to the restaurant since there was ice all over and no rail to support them. After they made it in, the old man came back out, saw the ice all over, sighed, adjusted his cane and tried to balance himself to step down from the sidewalk. He lost his balance for a short time and managed to get himself back on track. I couldn't continue seeing him like this, so I got out and offered him my hand. He took it and I balanced myself to keep him steady. I led him to his car. When he got in, he sighed in relief and smiled to say "thank you." His facial expression gave me that tingling feeling, and made me smile widely. Having gotten the feeling again, the tingling feeling pushed me forward, telling me to do more things to help others.

Although I've done a lot to help my community over the years, my duty isn't completed yet. In the future, I will continue helping my communities. One of my dreams is to say I've had (as Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it) "a life well spent." I want to spend my life well by doing things I love doing. I have always envisioned joining the Peace Corps, and I will, because they go to other countries and help a specific community. That is my dream: to get out of the United States and have the tingling feeling constantly. Because I was raised in two different communities, I always yearn to experience different communities with different lifestyles and to appreciate my life more. I desire to experience different communities and discover their needs and struggles. I have an itch to go to five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America because all five of the continents have different kinds of communities and different struggles. Many of them need a lot of help and support. I despise seeing people helpless; it makes no sense today. We have everything and they don't, and we leave them helpless? That doesn't seem fair to them. They long for us and we are their only hope. All communities need help. Be there for most and give what you have, and you will have the best tingling feeling ever and the thirst to do even more.

In my current community, we have a dearth of people with the passion to help others. I want to be one of those who help. When I see many people's eyes watching me like a small adorable puppy's eyes, I can't possibly say no to them. We all are humans; there is nothing different between any of us, and we need to help one other in big ways as well as small ones. A small action like smiling at someone when you walk down the street may help someone because it may be the only smile he has received all day, which makes him smile too. Once you help, you can make people happy. We need to go out and help more strangers. We need to go out and get that tingling feeling constantly. We need to go out and make more people's days better.