Be the Tree


Trevor Brown

Question: What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome on the road to High School Graduation? What steps have you taken to overcome the obstacle?

The greatest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome on my way to high school graduation is my work ethic. For almost all of high school, I’ve been smart enough to be at the top, yet always settled for the bare minimum. My past reasoning for this was that I had greater intentions than to do that fill work that the school supplied, and I had things in my life that I found more important. This kind of mentality has caused me to underperform, underwhelm, and not truly show my level of intelligence as a top student like I both used to be, and currently should be. Though it took me too long to realize, I’ve taken necessary steps in order to turn around my self demise.

This year, I’ve been more school oriented than anything else. I’ve began to take up my old habits that put me at the top, such as doing extra work to get ahead, making sure that I properly utilize my time at school, and applying my best effort on each assignment. The more work I do, the more accomplished I feel, and the more freedom I allow myself to have. If I feel like I’m not performing well in school, or that I have room to get ahead, I do not allow myself to hang out with friends or even watch TV. My commitment to graduation has come through changing how I thought and going back to my old ways, taking the necessary steps to not only succeed in graduation, but to exceed all expectations.  

Victoria Terlizzese                                            11/28/2018                                      Be The Tree

The greatest obstacle I have overcome to High School Graduation would not be endless studying, my GPA, or test anxiety. In all honesty, that was the least of my worries the entire time.  I would say, by far, the greatest challenge I have faced, but not yet overcome, is the absence of my father. My anxiety began around the start of school, but slowly progressed as I aged. I have wrapped my head thousands of times trying to rationalize the relation between the two. A growing apprehension to wake up in the morning that began in 6th grade would eventually lead me to multiple years of hospitals, mental health clinics, therapy and medication. I was stuck in such an endless cycle of blame and guilt between weather or not it was me who was failing or if it was just because I was emotionally scarred from my father. I broke down over and over again. I never understood how I could be so excited for life, yet find myself to be so lethargic and depressed at the same time. It was not until my junior year that I decided I need to focus on myself more. I was always so caught up in the midst that I never spent enough time alone, evaluating what is the healthiest option for me. I had always been an overthinker, but I began to think about life from an angle of awe. I started to appreciate the unexpected and I learned to use my experiences to my advantage. Now I have realized, you will never be truly content in life until your motive is to not gain material items or status, but to appreciate the moments as they come.  Who I am today and where it has led me are all aspects of my life that I do not believe will ever cease to change. It is now my senior year of high school and I can confidently say that I am grateful for every experience I have faced. I have learned that the most cliche sayings speak truth. The simple things in life help us realize that when nothing is going right, at least not everything is going wrong. I believe you have to have truly experienced your own pain in order to understand that. Also, In order to empathize with others and grow as a person, you must go through your own trials and tribulations.

    My passion for learning about different cultures and meeting new people has propelled me into very exciting careers options. After high school I really hope to progress in my study of language. I want to major in spanish and business. With these degrees I want to be able to travel specific places in the world based off a job in the hotel industry. Eventually, I would love nothing more but to open a restaurant where I can cater to all types of people, all the while, I can use my cooking skills and creativity to build my business.I understand that a restaurant takes years in the making and lots of money, so I hope to save and work on my career until then. The thought of serving people my own recipes and having a business I can call my own is so exciting, because I have dreamt of opening one since I was a little girl.

    In my opinion, giving is not solely the act of giving a material gift. I believe that giving can involve the way you give your love to someone. You can give someone your kindness and your compassion. When I think of someone who is giving, I also picture a person who would give me the shirt off their back. Actions can speak louder than words, so selflessness represents giving in many ways.

Name: Keyarea Payne

School: Student Opportunity Center

Grade: 12

Age: 18

Essay: Life events

Out of all my life events that i have experienced, i can think of one huge event that has been a obstacle to me being successful and that would be the time that my family was homeless. Witch was not to long ago. I was working , taking care of my 12 year old sister. I was the only person my could count on to help her out in this very tough situation.

I have over come these obstacles by keeping a positive mind set and not letting the situation get in that way of my concentration on my school work and my job. I stayed strong and did not give up when thing got really difficult.

When I graduate high school I plan on going to cosmetology school and taking a few classes in Collin College because i would really love to own my own shop and know how to do it all myself.

I think giving is helping someone else. For example of all the times my mother has sacrificed such at her time and money for me and sister.
I always give my support to any of my friends that i feel need it.

I am most in need of thing for a new bedroom because my bedroom is old and i don’t have much in my room, and i have always shared a room with my sister.

I live with my mom and my Little sister. I also have a car that i get back and forth from school and work with.I do not have any children.
When i have free time witch is not much i like to get together with the few friends have and we go and find something fun but affordable for everyone to do. Some of my favorite places to eat are Cheddars , Olive Garde, Chilis, Wingstop, and Buffalow Wild Wings. I have a LG cell phone.

Name: Mickle Nichols Jr

School: Student Opportunity Center

Grade: 12th

Age: 18

Essay: Hi my name is Mickle Nichols Jr. I am an student at the Student Opportunity Center. I am finally a senior and I have been at the Student Opportunity for 3 years for the credit recovery program. I lost my grandmother. The situation was unexpected. She minded her own business and didn’t bother anyone. She cooked for people. She was like my mother. I felt like I could joke and laugh with her all of the time. I miss most seeing her and talking with her. She was an advocate and encouraged me to play basketball. The steps I am taking is to think of great memories.

After high school, I plan on going to Collin College and study astronomy to help discover the other planets that are similar to earth. In addition, i would like to consider being an biologist. The meaning of giving to me means helping people when i give,it makes me happy because I can be a blessing for someone else, it brings me joy and it is a unselfish act of kindness. The items I need or that would make my christmas more special,would be clothes from Pacsun. I enjoy shopping at Pacsun and going to the movie theatres, and shopping at Gamestop. I currently live with my mother, 5 other little siblings ranging in ages from 12 years to 3 weeks old, and a 12 year old cousin.

My mother usually brings me back back and forth to school. No i do not have any kids. I like to play basketball,go to movies with friends, and go shopping.The places that i like to eat at would be panda express, Chic-Fila, Mcdonalds,Taco bell, In&Out, Whataburger and Rasing Cane’s. Yes i do have an cell phone it is an Iphone5se. If I were lucky enough to be chosen for this award, it would be a blessing because I could help my family members and give them something for Christmas.

Be The Tree

My name is Lidia Moody and I’m 17 years old. My family and I moved to Frisco a little after I turned six, but we’re originally from a little trailer park in Syosset, New York. My goal here is to share my story and let you know who I am using methods just short of a handshake.

    I’ve struggled with my weight all my life; needless to say, I got bullied for it. It was hard in elementary – six-years-old is when kids really start to be jerks – but I hardened myself towards it. I thought it was the best way to handle it, but I ended up hurting myself more than anyone else’s words ever could. I’m still dealing with it today, but I became desensitized to pretty much everything. People’s insults were met with a mere shrug of the shoulders. How could they hurt me when what they said was what I told myself every day anyway? I’m still overweight, unfortunately, but I’m getting better ever so slowly. My friend and I have a plan to keep each other accountable for a diet we’re going to start soon! I’m already excited for the end results.
    Along with being overweight, I’ve been struggling with my depression and social anxiety as well – it’s been six years since I was diagnosed with both. I’ve handled it better this year, without a doubt, but that didn’t start until this school year began. School’s always been hard for me, both because of bullying and because I’m just not confident with my own abilities, despite being told that I should be. Before this year, the seeing the school building in the mornings made me have a panic attack upon just rolling up in the car lane. I dreaded the classes I couldn’t excel in, and I’d have a breakdown before and after speaking in front of the class or presenting projects. Of course, that was when I was attending school at my home campus (Centennial High School.) Now that I’m here at SOC, I’ve never done better in my classes, and I’m comfortable around the students and teachers – I genuinely enjoy coming to school every day! Now, does that just cure me of my depression? Of my anxiety? No, but I sure wish it did! No, I’m not cured, but I’m doing so much better. I’m hanging with friends, I’m more involved with the youth group at church! It’s been an awful long time since I’ve been this excited to wake up in the mornings.

    Enough with the minor key, the audience came to this concert to here the flutterings tones of the major key.
    I’ve been tech savvy ever since I can remember! One of my earliest memories is from when I was three-years-old, I taught my great grandmother how to log into to her email on her new computer. I say “new”,  but it was one of those dinosaur computers! You know, the big blocky white ones. Anyway, I was a techy then, and I’m a techy now. I don’t have a Photoshop membership (I hope top one day!) but I make picture and video edits on my phone using apps called Video Star, Over, and PicsArt. I’m not an expert, but people seem to like them enough, considering that I’ve been asked to make icons for friends of other friends. Until I get the means to approve that skill, I let it remain as just a hobby, alongside coding! I’m no Mr. Robot, I barely have any background in it, but I pursue classes in it any chance I get. After I graduate, I’ll be going to Collin College (I’m already enrolled) to pursue graphic design and art. After that, I’m looking at Pratt University in New York. Not only would going to that school provide me with a way to visit my family, but Pratt is one of the top art universities in the country. It’d be an honor to be one of their students! Video game design and 3D-animation are things I have interest in as well.

    Coming from a background where money wasn’t always the easiest thing to get a hold of, I’ve had my share of being poured into by charitable organizations. Clothe A Child helped my family the most by providing my siblings and I with fall and winter clothing up until my sophomore year, once my brother and I became too old to qualify for the event.
    That being said, I’ve understood, from an early age, what it meant to need help. Being dependent on others isn’t the best feeling in the world, not to come off in the wrong way! Just asking for help is hard to do and it takes bravery. That’s why I give back whenever I have the funds and time to do so. I’m always volunteering at my church, whether that be folding 2,000 bulletins, writing the youth greeting cards, babysitting, or running the slides for worship. When it comes to donating funds, I donate to charity streams on YouTube run by content creators such as PewDiePie, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, Good Mythical Morning, Thomas Sanders, etcetera. Organizations that I and these individuals have donated to include: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, AbleGamers, the ASPCA, the Cancer Research Institute, Child’s Play, Depression and Bipolar Support Association, Charity: Water, Environmental Defense Fund, Game Changer, Joyful Heart Foundation, Direct Relief, National MPS Society, and Save The Children. I’ve been donating to charities such as these for five years now, and I will continue to do so.

    My household consists of my mother, my step-father, my step-brother, my half-brother, and myself, along with our fuzzy, four-legged children (two dogs and one cat.) As I believe in abstinence, I don’t have any children. As a one car family, I take Lyft to school everyday, then I ride home with a friend of mine. My parents drop off my little brother at daycare, then ride to work together even though my dad works in Coppell and my mom works in Carrollton. With this in mind, I’d choose to adhere to my family’s need more than my own. As an individual, I need a Surface Pro laptop for graphic design and digital art so that I may begin putting together a portfolio for Pratt University. As a daughter, my family needs a second car so that we can cut down costs on Lyft rides and the gas bill, considering that the car commutes from Frisco to Coppell, from Coppell to Carrollton, from Carrollton to Coppell, then from Coppell back to Frisco, every work day.

    In my spare time, I like to make icons, draw cartoons, listen to music, read, play video games, and hang out with my friends. My family is huge on gaming, and that’s usually what we do for gifts (Christmas, birthdays, etc.), not to mention that we all enjoy sitting down and watching E3 together. My favourite places to eat are IHOP (I suppose it’s IHOB now) and Fuddruckers, when it comes to sit-in dining. As for fast food, Steak N Shake, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell are my favorites.

    Lastly, our household is an Apple family – we’ve all got iPhones. My parents have the iPhone 8, my brother and I have the iPhone 7. None of us have really showed an interest in upgrading them, but I’m always talking about how good Macbooks are, despite us not having one.

    Hopefully I’ve managed to get my perspective on life across! Being chosen as a winner would make Christmas easier on my parents this year, but I’m looking forward to whatever happens!
    Thank you for your time, and happy judging!