In The News

Ashley O’Donnell - What is a Hero?


Interview With Ashley O’Donnell - What is a Hero?
Everyday we encounter the possibility of interacting with heroes – speaking them them, walking past them, helping them out. Heroes are not always what we might picture – they are not how the world imagines them, with capes, parades and awards, doing extraordinary things. Instead, heroes are simply how we, the individual, view them.

And a hero is not the same thing as a role model either. People often have a role model that they say they want to be like when they are “older.” Heroes come in all types and have all sorts of diverse qualities, be they male or female, young or old, child or adult.

My heroes have it all, and more than one exists in my life. These heroes exist in my mind as worthy of recognition and admiration. They love me unconditionally and make me happy when I am sad. They see the best in me, even when I am not capable of finding it myself. My heroes constantly want to make a difference. Their qualities are those that I long to see in myself – which include being able to smile through anything, and enjoying the little aspects of life.

My heroes are the kids I spend time with at the Boys and Girls Club. They make me want to do well for myself, so that I can be a hero to them, and show them right from wrong. They have helped me realize what I want to do in life – with their help, I reached my decision not only to become a nurse, but also to become a teacher.

I never could quite pick out my talent before, but now, due to my interactions with them, I am positive of it. Just a single smile lets me know that I can make a difference. These kids, these heroes, are the motivating step I need to get my head on straight and comprehend that life is moving quickly.

My heroes make me believe that I can be anything and do anything. When we were children ourselves, we had superheroes. We admired them for their courage and longed to be brave and strong just like them. When did this change? It was when we realized everyday people can have a greater impact on our lives.

Who are your heroes? Keep in mind, they may not always be easy to pick out, but when you think about who has impacted your life, it will be clear who the heroes are.

Ashley O’Donnell (17 year old BGCPPR member and volunteer)