In April of 2007 we were notified by the RMHC of Central TX that our daughter, Erin, an 18 year old senior at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, was the recipient of one of the scholarships given that year. Their call came just days before she passed away from a brain tumor and a five year battle with cancer. But Erin never stopped hoping, planning, and praying for a bright future. She had applied to college, won scholarships, made plans. I’m sure much like you. But it was not to be.Now through this scholarship in Erin’s name her memory lives on. Words can barely express our thanks and gratitude to the Central Texas Coop of McDonald’s owners for bestowing this tremendous honor on Erin and for inviting us to be here today to help present the Erin Crowley Scholarship for 2010.
My words to you are brief: Never underestimate your ability to touch others in all that you do. Erin had little idea how her life and how she lived it would do just that. I hope that as you prepare to go out into the world to realize your own dreams you will not forget that potential for influence and how your life will impact all those you meet in ways you may never know.
A story….A Pencil Maker took the new pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. "There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."
"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand." [Faith]
"Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil." [Courage]
"Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make [with your eraser]." [Always forgive]
"Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside." [Understand you own self-worth/have confidence]
"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write." [Live life with purpose]
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart. Now replace the pencil with you.
Allow this simple story to encourage each of you to know that you are a special person and that only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to be discouraged and think that your life is insignificant. Do not underestimate the mark your life will have on others even in the smallest of circumstances. “Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, [God’s] purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again.”
From The Shack and Wm. Paul Young
Congratulations to all of you and especially to Sheyda Aboii, this year’s recipient of the Erin Crowley Scholarship.