by: Nicole P., 10th Grade, Booker High School - Sarasota, Florida
teacher: Jeffery Cornwell
I am not a freak! Inside I am whole and BEAUTIFUL... just like you.
quote by: Risé Snider Loshaek, Longboat Key, Florida
My father is a burn victim from an accident when he was in the Navy 23 years ago. 99% of his body is now burnt, so he suffers from constant stares. He often gets long gazes from children (which is understandable), but also from adults, which I must admit, makes me upset. I wish others would get past the fear of him to open up and learn to know his warm personality. He is so strong, kind-hearted, and is the center of my life. He has inspired me through everything, and I feel the picture I used captures his gentle compassion.
One statement that is communicated through my artwork is that no matter what someone may look like, he has the chance to be the kindest, most loving person you have ever met. A condition that someone has should not define him. Besides the message of accepting others, there is another message — I believe Dad can be an inspiration to others. He has gone through so much trouble because of his condition, but he still manages to always smile.
At the end of the day, regardless of how much pain you have dealt with, a positive attitude will always make the suffering more tolerable. I’ve learned this and so much more from my Dad. I am extremely grateful that he is here today to help me spread the concept of embracing differences.