When I was in 7th grade sitting in class, I heard someone announce that Yearbook class was starting and looking for volunteers. Everyone loves yearbooks. I wanted to be apart of making a yearbook. Taking pictures, reporting different school events and memorializing them in a yearbook as a keep-sake.
I went to the meeting and felt a bit overwhelmed but I was reassured by Mrs. Sublett, “that it’s not hard to learn, it just takes a lot of your free time.” I was doing the yearbook before and after school as well as during some of my recesses. I helped out in every area I could.
During my 8th grade year, Mrs. Sublett announced that she would be putting a few people on the ballot for Editor-In-Chief of the school yearbook. My name was on the ballot at the top of the list. I was caught by complete surprise. I hardly knew anything about how to put a yearbook together; or so I thought. Mrs. Sublett had faith in me; she knew that I would see every detail to its completion. She believed in me.
I won the vote and took the lead as Editor-In-Chief. I had an amazing crew working with me to complete this project. There were many set backs and bumps in the road that I was able to maneuver out of. Mrs. Sublett guided me with patients and understanding. She helped to encourage my creative side. She gave me the confidence to know that I could do it.
When the yearbook finally came out and everyone was talking about how awesome it looked and how much they loved the pictures, I was on cloud nine. I was apart of something grand. I helped make memories for my fellow classmates. My approval or re-do was on every single page of the yearbook. I helped get the cost of the yearbook lowered due to my perseverance of finding and obtaining sponsorship in order so my student body could afford to buy the yearbook. Not to mention, we were able to have 12 colored pages, which had never been done before.
The soft smell of Mrs. Sublett’s perfume has stayed with me as she was always next to me, guiding me threw the harder phases of editing. Her long fingers are burned into my memory as she circled misspellings with her red pen. The tone of her voice is in my heart because it helped create my “Happy Place” when things get tough. Her reassuring smile is what I will always remember about her because she was the first adult I knew who wore braces.
I owe my first book dedication to Mrs. Sublett because she helped me believe in myself. She helped me complete a project to its final end and she shared in the joy of finishing. I’ve shed tears with her, I’ve stood in front of strangers asking for sponsorship money with her, I’ve listened to her speak of me in private to others and it has built up the most incredible part of me. My “Get it done” attitude is because of her. My “pay attention to the smallest detail” is because of her. My “no problem is too big for me” is because of her.
I wanted to pay-it-forward as sincere kindness to my cousin Angelica. I wanted her to believe in herself. I wanted her to understand that there is someone walking just slightly behind her, so if she should need any help, all she’d have to do is ask for it.
I love Angelica as if she was my own daughter. I’ve helped her experience many childhood “Firsts” and I’ve watched her fall a few times, giving me the opportunity to help her back up. But the most important thing for me to do for her was encourage her to be strong and to “follow through”. I wanted to set the example for her, that she can do anything she wants if she’s willing to put the hard work into it.
I will not sit here and take all of the credit for what she’s accomplished, but I will take credit for the fact that she and I have a wonderful relationship because we have both worked at it very hard. We have leaned on each other, we have grown from each other and we will continue to do so, until the day I die. She has it inside herself, to do great things, and she’s on the right path now, driving, working taking baby steps and long strides to making her dreams come true because she believes in herself and because I know she can.