The following was written by Caitlin, a Pathways student.

Community progress and hope go hand in hand, they motivate one another. Progress comes from our ambitions to do better and the more goals we reach, the more hope we create. When people come together to make a better future, there’s hope that pushes us every step of the way.

Community progress and hope. It’s the feeling you get when you’re cheering at the top of your lungs at your school’s home opener. The way you feel connected to those around you after being part of a fundraiser to help the people in your community. It’s the way the ground shakes as thousands of people come together in your city and march for change, when they try to make a difference, together.

Community progress and hope. It’s something that’s contagious. Once others see the impact a community can have, they join in and make that community even stronger. Dreams and ambitions get shared, new goals become achievable. When people are working for a brighter future together and they build up that hope, nothing can stop them.

Community progress and hope. It’s what unifies people. It’s their shared breath, their shared dreams, their shared goals. It’s the way they come together as one, the way they lift each other up and help those who have fallen down. It’s how we’re going to improve our lives, our community, our world. It’s these experiences we share with those around us, the ones we tell the world with a proud smile on our face. It’s the change we make, the lives we help improve, and the people we inspire.

Community progress and hope, it’s all around us and ever-changing. Those with the most hope leave their mark, in order to inspire those behind them.

This article was entered into a contest by Caitlin for the chance to see President Barak Obama speak. And guess what… she won! Congratulations, Caitlin!