We are halfway through the PFO year and I wanted to share about the journey so far, what I’ve learned, and how PFO has impacted me. Teenagers are hurting. This whole generation is so consumed by school, relationships, and pleasing their parents that they never have time to focus on themselves. We are often overlooked when it comes to the media, and don’t really have any say in our world today. We are forced to grow up and are expected to just be “”ok”” with the social barriers that keep us, teenagers, from changing the world. I never would have thought that someone who was two years away from being able to vote could have more of an impact than any president or political power could ever dream of having. PFO has brought so much to light for me, and hopefully for everyone else involved in the organization. The two buddies that I have had the opportunity to get to know my first two years in Playing For Others have had more of an impact on my life than anything I can think of. Every Saturday morning has been much more than a trip to Uptown Charlotte to meet with 11 other teens and write some poetry. It’s been an opportunity to expand my horizon, an opportunity to share my time and talent with the rest of the world, an opportunity to create a change in my community, and I’m not even old enough to vote.

“Happiness should not be a product of circumstance, but a choice.”, has turned into one of those quotes you see on a poster at a store to something that I live by.  There is so much for me and everyone else in the world to live for and we are blind to what we have, because of what we don’t have.  Being a part of the Buddy Program exposed me to what happiness was supposed to be: a choice to have a positive outlook despite your circumstances or surroundings.  Each time I was able to make Jake smile or make Jonathan laugh, I could see that I was truly making an impact on their lives and I have never felt more important. The smallest spark of joy could turn into a wildfire of happiness and to me, that’s what it’s all about. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say.  Stay beautiful friends.