Changing A Life Can Happen At Any Age
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Student Life

Age Doesn't Matter When It Comes To Changing Lives

The death of a friend changed my life forever.

Age Doesn't Matter When It Comes To Changing Lives
Jessie Searles

Age doesn't matter when it comes to changing lives. I learned that a few years ago when I had the opportunity to meet Daven Turner at the Conference On National Affairs also known as CONA. CONA is a conference for high school students that want to change the world through political action. The top 25 students from the YMCA Youth and Government program are selected from each state to present different ideas that they believe can help make our world a better place.

I know what some of you are thinking, kids can't change the world, but they can. Every person there has the ability to change the world. I saw that first hand with Daven.

Daven wanted to change the world. Daven would light up a room when he walked in. Anytime he saw me, he would give me a hug and ask about my day. He would always motivate me and tell me I was doing great. Daven was someone I looked forward to seeing every year, and my senior year I was blessed to have him as my clerk while I chaired committee A. We had a wonderful time the first few days spending time together in committee and encouraging people to speak and share their views.

This past August as I was moving into my dorm I received a call from one of my friends that informed me Daven had passed in his sleep the night before. After hearing the news it took me a while to work through everything, but his death changed the way I have lived my life.

First, a simple way I changed my life was simply cutting out soda from my life. Daven's New Years Resolution before he passed was he was going to cut out soda and juice. I was someone who normally drank soda when I was out or with friends, and I decided to cut it out completely. Daven inspired me to change my life and get healthy.

Next, Daven showed me that being happy is the best way to go through life. Whenever I saw Daven he was smiling and he was happy. His hugs made my day at CONA and made me feel as if I was an important part of his day. He always knew how to pick everyone around him up.

Finally, Daven showed me that changing the world isn't an outrageous goal to have. He always wanted to make an impact with people, and I know he sees us now and recognizes the fact that he did change the lives of so many people around him. I am one of the few lives he changed.

I think about Daven almost daily when I am at school. I know for a fact that he would be seizing every opportunity to make the most of his college career. He has inspired me to really make the most of my time at school because I know he would be doing the same.

Daven we love you and I know you're in a better place. You have inspired the people around you to be better people and you have shown us one individual can change the world. You changed my world, and for that, I am forever grateful.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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