Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Be the person that makes a difference in someone's life


March 14, 2019

I recently had the opportunity to attend the robotics competition at the DECC featuring robots created exclusively by high school students. It was exciting and interesting, but more importantly, it was gratifying to see such talent nurtured.

Although high school seems both far away and yet not that long ago, the opportunities students have today is more than what was available when I was a high schooler. A lot has changed in ten years.

Although a part of me is a bit jealous that I missed out on the robotics team and other new activities created at my alma mater, I'm thankful that my nieces will get to partake in creative new ways to expand their horizons. Plus, I can always attend the events to cheer them on and in doing so participate in a different way.

Having been to the robotics competition and later that day Barnum's elementary talent show, it makes me want to do more for the community and those students. We all need encouragement and support, even more so when we're young. As children, there are so many paths to take and, at the same time, so many obstacles.

For many years I felt pretty alone as a writer. I didn't have friends that had a passion for writing like I did and there was no group or community I could connect with. That is, until my first semester of college where I took a creative writing class. I still felt isolated because of the personalities of the other students there, but the class did introduce me to something that would change my life.

NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month (also the name of the nonprofit organization that runs it) and it occurs every November. The goal is to write 50,000 words during those 30 days of November. There's a growing online community with local liasons so you can meet and write with other authors in person. I've participated every year since 2010. Although I haven't met the goal each time, it still gives me a boost conversing with other people that have the same drive and deal with the same issues (such as plot holes, character development, and the best type of caffiene).

So challenge yourself. Be a mentor for someone who needs it. Be the person that makes a difference in someone's life.


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