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“We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us.” — Anonymous

Children are an investment.

Over the past few years, I have developed a strong desire to be a positive figure for youth in hopes of creating a better world, one in which it is safe for every human to live. Children are insatiably curious and malleable, prepared to learn everything that they must to determine how they act and feel about the things and people they encounter. This malleability is also complimented by innocence, as children are often untouched by a deeper understanding of the harsh realities of the world. Therefore, it is incredibly important that we raise children under fair circumstances with positive, yet realistic, dialogue.

The influences surrounding a child are greatly important in the development of many aspects of the child’s mind, including confidence and self-worth, work ethic, concept of opportunity, and attitude towards differences. I can remember the strong figures I had growing up; those who taught me that true beauty comes from the ways in which you love yourself and others, to always put myself in the shoes of others, the importance of education and punctuality, to hard work and exercise acceptance, and to give unconditional love and understanding, just to name a few.

Kids Playing with Sidewalk Chalk

I wrote in another blog post from my ACE experience (http://aceinchina.weebly.com/blog) about how people emulate the behaviors of and incorporate positive ideas from the most influential figures in their lives. Throughout the trip, I observed that my ACE peers and I model the components of the identities from the influential figures in our lives—we are all excited about learning, we are positive and happy, and take genuine enjoyment in our activities. It was really inspiring to see the ACE participants attempting to be a positive force in our students’ development.

Today’s children are going to change tomorrow’s reality.

Participating in the ACE program made me feel purposeful. I felt that I was able to help foster the attitude that human to human connections are possible and necessary, despite cultural differences such as language barriers and physical differences.

I am inspired and will continue to teach younger generations to build positive relationships with the others they share the world with. It would be incredibly meaningful for me, and is a big goal of mine, to be a positive, world-changing, influence on younger generations.

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