All across America, people hold onto the belief that genuinely good people just don’t exist anymore, and it’s easy to see why. History books are full of heroes celebrated for their valor and sense of justice, while headlines today are all about Miley Cyrus’ latest crazy antics. While it’s true that society has placed an unreasonable amount of value on the shocking stories that sell magazines, the world today has no shortage of incredible people who can serve as role models.
Devon and Leah Still
In the summer of 2014, Leah Still, the four year old daughter of the Bengals’ defense tackle Devon Still, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. After his daughter’s diagnosis, Devon was moved to the practice squad so he could care for his daughter and keep his insurance and income. In addition, all proceeds from the sale of the #75 Still jersey go to support pediatric cancer research. Their story has since gone viral, raising awareness for pediatric cancer and bringing hope to those in a similar situation.
Picture from Devon Still’s Instagram
Malala Yousafzai is a force to be reckoned with. After being denied an education, she began speaking out against the injustice she and the other girls of Pakistan faced. At age 15, she was targeted and shot by the Taliban. She survived and refused to be silenced. In fact, she is now stronger and more visible than ever. Now 17 years old, she is the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
To learn more about Malala and to join her in the fight for the right to education, visit the Malala Fund’s website or read her book, I Am Malala: the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. A copy of this book resides in the McNicholas library.
Amy and Emma Bushman
In 2008, twins Amy and Emma Bushman, with the help of their mother Alison Bushman, established their charity, Bake Me Home. The girls created Bake Me Home when they were seven years old. They had been volunteering at a homeless shelter for three years and wanted to do more to help. Since their humble beginning, their organization has expanded to include four programs, 18 agencies, and the help of thousands of volunteers. They serve as an example that no matter how young a person is, they can make a positive difference in the lives of others. A more complete version of their story can be found here.
Picture from the Bake Me Home website.