Draft's Picks

Natalie M. - "The Blind Side" Miami

While riding again in the blue Honda Odyssey all too familiar to me, I held a box filled with donated uniforms, socks, and school supplies. My eager club sponsor and I pulled into a dull, grey parking lot, hoping the contents of the boxes would be enough for each child. When the school's counselor arrived, we stepped onto wet pavement and she quietly cried as we placed these boxes full of a month's worth of generosity and love into her van. I remember my club sponsor, Mrs. Doyle (or "Mother Doyle"), was so natural as she comforted the grateful elementary school counselor, and as contrived as most people sound when they say, "If you ever need something, don't hesitate to ask," there was absolutely no hint of disingenuity. Ever since then, I have wanted to become as giving as "Mother Doyle" has been to countless individuals within the community throughout her life. I consider that day and this amazing woman to be the most influential in my life to date, as it has been the foundation of my aspirations, my heart, and my future.

The consistent smell of sugar cookies permeating the air whenever she is around only magnifies the maternal aura Mrs. Doyle exudes towards her students, and more so, the members of her clubs. The comfort and warmth she offers to each and every person she comes across never fails to astound me. Day by day, I watch as she lends a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on to someone in need — often myself, even — and whether or not she knows it, I feel that she has the qualities and the essence of the kind of person I aspire to be like one day.

Throughout the past three years, I have realized that giving to others is what comes natural to me, what makes me feel — as cliché as it may seem — whole. I aspire to be a pediatrician and volunteer with an organization traveling the world helping care for malnourished, sick children.

Without Mrs. Doyle, the Anchor Club, and its members guiding me to this realization, I would not have discovered all the things we unconsciously take for granted, and all the things I wish to do with my life.

There will never be enough words to express my gratitude to her for teaching me that giving is truly receiving.