Past You Said It!

Reach for the Stars

Twelve-year-old Moriah asked this question: "What is one thing that has inspired you to be an even better person?"

These girls shared their thoughts:

I felt inspired when my class decided to enter a music contest with a plan to donate any prize money to students whose school had been lost in a tornado. It warmed my heart that we all wanted to give things we earned to people who needed it more than we did.
–Veronica, age 12, Missouri

One thing that has inspired me? Well, I just look at other people. I always think, "This person is a great person. How can I be more like her?"
–Mariell, age 12, Ohio

One time I told a secret that one of my good friends trusted me with. It was not a good thing to do. From that, I have learned to think before I act and also to try to tell people not to let me in on their secrets.
–Estrella, age 11, Montana

When a kid in my class was being bullied, my teacher talked to us about it. He said that bullying wasn't the answer and that one nice person could make a huge difference. So I started being nice to the kid right away, and that made me feel like a better person.
–Maddie, age 12, California

When someone thanks me from her heart because of something kind I've done, that makes me want to do even better things. Even if it's hard sometimes to be kind to people who are mean or different, it pays off when you feel that you've helped them when no one else would.
–Hannah, age 14, South Dakota

I learned about kids living in poverty in Africa this fall, and it inspired me to help by doing neighborhood activities such as a basketball fund-raiser. I had so much fun shooting hoops to raise money for hungry children in Africa.
–Karina, age 10, Virginia

When I started going to a new youth group, I was really shy and didn't know anybody. One of the older girls introduced herself, and it made me feel really good to know someone cared. This year, when new people came to our youth group, I introduced myself to them. It made me feel good to know I was helping others feel welcome, just as that girl had done for me.
–Alex, age 12, Colorado

Once a mean guy in my class called my friend a name behind her back without her knowing. My other friend heard it and went to talk to him about it after class. I probably wouldn't have done that, and it inspired me to be brave and be a better person.
–An American Girl fan, age 12, New York

My friends at my tae kwon do class motivate me. Most of them have higher belts than I do, but they are always there at my school to help me.
–An American Girl fan, age 9, Iowa

I know a family that has a two-year-old child sick with cancer. They send e-mails updating us on how he's doing, and they also share different ways people can help. It makes me sad, but the family really inspires me to help others in any way I can.
–Leah, age 13, New Jersey

My best friend and her family inspire me to be a better person. That family barely ever argues, and they are very polite to one another. They treat me as if I'm part of the family, and when I'm over at their house, I actually feel that I am!
–Whitney, age 10, Oregon

My parents gave me a card for my birthday that said that I was a wonderful and kind girl. I had not been very nice to my sister, so it made me realize that I really needed to work on that.
–Allison, age 14, Georgia

Books inspire me. Whenever there is a character whom I like in a book, I try to be more like the character.
–Hana, age 11, California

Sometimes when I hear about other people doing nice things for one another, it makes me want to do them, too. For example, I heard about a girl who, instead of getting presents for her birthday, collected change for a charity. This year, I'm also going to do that!
–Emma, age 10, Massachusetts

A girl in my class can't give reports in school—she bursts into tears. I've realized that I shouldn't take things for granted, such as being able to give a report or recite a poem in front of the class. Realizing this is helpful, and I think of that girl when I begin to take for granted things that are easy for me.
–Genevieve, age 11, Ohio

Bethany Hamilton inspired me never to give up. She lost her arm to a shark in a surfing accident! But that never kept her from getting back on the board. She inspires me more than anything.
–Christy, age 13, Minnesota

My faith teaches me that I have to remember to treat others the way I want to be treated. Knowing that I need to be nice in order to follow my religion is definitely a great motivator!
–Alexi, age 12, Pennsylvania

Seeing someone smile inspires me. Making other people happy makes me happy and inspires me to be a better person.
–Elizabeth, age 10, Virginia

All of the troubles in the world inspire me to be a better person. Without lots of girls to stand up and help, so many problems, from pollution to bullying, will keep going on.
–Olivia, age 11, New York