‘My father is always an inspiration…when I’m feeling down I go to him and he encourages me to do my best’

The Boston Globe (5/15/09) published excerpts from some of the winning essays by Boston public school sixth-graders who write about courage as part of the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, which honors the memory of an 11-year-old boy who died of leukemia in 1991. Darianna Santana, a Boston-area middle schooler, wrote about her dad, a teenager who was given a chance to be a father to his children and stepped up and took it:

I was about 2 when my brother and I went to live with my father.
My father was still in high school. My mother dropped us off at my father’s house; I didn’t see her again for a long time. My grandparents were like my parents while my father attended school. My Papa and Mama taught him how to be a parent. Courage is accepting the consequences of one’s actions. My father could have sent us both to a foster home, become an absent father, or even given total care to his parents, but instead he asked my grandparents to help him raise us. My father had two of us to take care of, but he never quit trying to make his life better for him and for us. For example, he continued and finished high school and went to college. He is now a registered nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. My father is always an inspiration, and when I am feeling down I go to him and he encourages me to do my best. My father was 18 and took on the responsibility of raising two children when he was a child himself. After a year or so, my father got married to the most wonderful woman I have ever known, and she adopted my brother and me. I now have a new baby sister. We are now one big happy family. Courage is accepting responsibility for one’s actions, in spite of the obstacles, and reaching for the stars!

Thanks to Peter Hill for the story.

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