Freedom for All

Scholarship Entrant: Melanie from Miami, FL
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Melanie: 0

I am not a leader. I have never been one to give orders, I melt under pressure, and I find embarrassment in being praised or honored. I am not a follower. I cannot stand modern trends, I do not do well with commands, and I am too skeptical to believe or follow easily. I like to classify myself as a quiet rebel- my soul is passionate, my opinions are strong, and my general style is unique. The only thing that has been keeping all these emotions and views from running free is.. my mouth.
It seems, as children and adolescents, we are constantly being told to keep our thoughts to ourselves, because, honestly, no one cares. Either that, or there is always someone smarter, or a view that is more accurate than ours. Hence, quiet my thoughts have stayed.
Many of my peers and acquaintances probably do not know I am a strict vegetarian with a collective knowledge of the injustices and cruelties done to animals every day. The very few times I have spoken openly about my beliefs, I have been shot down and ridiculed. Maybe, I thought, it was for the best everyone just keeps their opinions to themselves.
On one of the rare occasions in which I was speaking to my friends about my decision to live a cruelty-free lifestyle, I sparked interest in one. After a lot of questions and guidance, this close friends of mine became very involved in the animal rights movement. That was a wonderful epiphany for me.
Rejection of an idea you feel strongly about hurts, it does. However, the few people you do get through to, or the victory of applause really does triumph over the negativity. That is why I have such determination to pass and excel in my high school years, thus leading me to the college of my choosing, where I can study the art of debate and public speaking, and speak openly about compassion. I also have become even more involved in various organizations and activities to halt animal cruelty, performing tasks such as writing helpful letters to government officials and decision makers, as well as donating time and money to shelters, causes and animal hospitals.
For the first time, I am looking forward to the day when I can exercise leadership as a respected contributor of a movement of people who feel as passionately as I do. Maybe I do not have the natural qualities of a leader; maybe I was not born to be a leader; but I can definitely become one.

Vote for Melanie: 0

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