Category Archives: Inspiration

Autistic Teenager With Higher IQ Than Einstein On Path To Nobel Prize

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When Jacob Barnett was two years old, doctors told his mother, Kristine, that her son had autism and he would probably never be able to talk, read, or even tie his shoes.

Upon recommendations from Doctors and other experts, Kristine put him in a special preschool designed for kids with these kinds of challenges and special needs. Soon after, his Mom realized that the intensive program was not helping and against the advice of many, she decided to teach him herself and focus on the subjects that he seemed drawn to, like science, physics, and math.

Read more from Expand Your Consciousness…

Girl with terminal cancer made honorary Texas Ranger

By KXAN Staff

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Rangers have a new recruit in six-year-old, Abigail Arias. On Monday, she became an honorary Texas Ranger and took a tour around the Texas State Capitol. Arias has a rare childhood kidney cancer that is terminal.

Several weeks ago, she became an honorary Freeport police officer which is the area Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen represents.

When Bonnen learned about her dream of being in law enforcement, he decided he wanted to do something extra special for the little girl. 

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Never in my 20+ years as a Rep have I experienced a day as rewarding as today. Cancer is no match for 6 year-old Abigail Arias. She was doing such an outstanding job fighting bad guys as a @FreeportPD officer that today she got a new title. Say hello to our newest Texas Ranger. – D. Bonnen on Twitter [@RepDennisBonnen]

Read more from KXAN…

Weatherford police make ailing but courageous youngster ‘one of their family’

BY RICK MAUCH

Wilson Adams isn’t old enough to drive a car. He certainly can’t use a handgun.

But Weatherford Police Chief Lance Arnold said the 11-year-old, who is battling back after having a brain tumor removed, displays the sort of courage and determination every police officer should possess.

So he made Wilson an honorary reserve officer in the Weatherford Police Department (WPD) at the recent meeting of the city council on Oct. 9. He was sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Tim Galbreaith.

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Weatherford Police Chief Lance Arnold makes Wilson Adams, 11, an honorary police officer. Wilson is recovering after having a brain tumor removed. (Rick Mauch Special to the Star-Telegram)

Read more from The Star-Telegram…

IF — Rudyard Kipling’s powerful poem recited by Sir Michael Caine

Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If,” recited by Sir Michael Caine.

Chance Westlake Starbucks meeting spurs friendship, book

By Suzanne Majors Davis, Contributing writer

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Lane Orsak (left) and David Griffin (Photo: SUZANNE MAJORS DAVIS)

Local writer Lane Orsak is a warm, gregarious guy who knows everyone by name at his favorite Starbucks in the Westbank Market. This camaraderie led him to the topic of his sixth, recently published book, “Dylan’s Divide.”

It’s the story of a character named Dylan Griffith, a Texan who joins the Army to serve his country in Afghanistan and returns questioning the value of his mission and course of his life.

The tale is partially based on experiences of David Griffin, a 29-year-old Marble Falls man who was the roommate of Orsak’s Starbucks barista he identifies only as Mikey. He introduced the two at the coffee house.

Read more from The Statesman…

Letting Go is Not A Weakness

From Jay Shetty…

If you want to change the world, make your bed

Former US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven, conquers his day with this one small task in the morning.

Pearl Harbor Commemoration ceremony set for Dec. 5

HCN NEWS SERVICES

55e883ab95977.imageTo remember the thousands of Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Civilians that died AND survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the Texas Commandery of the Naval Order of the U.S. will hold its 30th annual commemoration ceremony on the deck of the Battleship USS Texas (BB-35) berthed at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site at 11:00 AM, December 5, 2015. The ceremony will last approximately one hour.

The ceremony is open to the public and access to the USS Texas is free for the ceremony. The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is located at 3523 Independence Parkway South, La Porte, 77571.

The keynote speaker will be Jill Allen. On December 7, 1941, Jill was 3 years old, and her father, Army Captain Loyd Jost, was a dentist at Tripler Hospital on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Captain Jost and other doctors, dentists, and nurses cared for hundreds of wounded men from the attack damaged ships at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, none of her family was injured during the attack.

In addition to Texas Commandery Companions, other ceremony participants will be representatives from the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors who will read the names of survivors who have passed in the last two years and will assist in throwing a lei into the water as a memorial to the survivors and those who lost their lives; the Naval Sea Cadets; Sea Scouts; Civil Air Patrol Cadets; the South East Texas Patriot Guard Riders; the Invincible Eagle Band of Liberty, Texas; a Commemorative Air Force flyby (weather permitting); and, a U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard for a gun salute.

The Naval Order of the United States is the oldest American hereditary exclusively naval society. The mission of the Naval Order is to preserve, promote, celebrate, and enjoy our Nation’s sea service history and heritage through commemorating important historical events, supporting the study of naval history, and the preservation of sea service historical artifacts, documents, and monuments.

The early Sunday morning surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy served as the catalyst for the United States entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. Over 2,300 Americans were killed, and more than 1,200 were wounded when over 350 Japanese planes struck U.S. soil. A quote that is often attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, but never verified that he either said it or wrote it down, encapsulated the feelings and mood of the American people following the attack: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

This ceremony pays tribute to both those who perished and those who survived the horrendous attack on Pearl Harbor 74 years ago on December 7, 1941.

Pearland resident survivor of plane crash, graduates from University of St. Thomas

Photo courtesy University of St. Thomas

Photo courtesy University of St. Thomas

Pearland residents Ijeoma (Ije), Zitara (Tara) and Kechi Okwuchi hail from Nigeria. But what brought them to the area is a story that is different than most.

On December 10, 2005 Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 carrying 108 souls, 60 of them students from Loyola Jesuit College, crashed at Port Harcourt International Airport in Omagwa, Rivers State, Nigeria. The crash eventually claimed every student’s life, save one: Kechi’s.

The accident occurred during approach to Port Harcourt in adverse weather: wind shear, rain and lightning. Unable to make out the unlit runway through the rain, the captain called for a go around (missed approach) at an altitude of about 200 ft., or approximately 120 ft. above the ground. This call was made about 100 ft. below the “decision altitude.”

The missed approach procedure was carried out incorrectly, and the aircraft struck the ground approximately 70 meters to the left of the runway. It collided heavily with a concrete drainage culvert, disintegrated and caught fire.

Kechi, then 16, initially received treatment in Johannesburg, South Africa, but in 2007, Kechi, Tara and Ije came to the United States to take advantage of treatment at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Galveston while her father stayed in Nigeria to work.

At age 23, Kechi has had many surgeries, and they are ongoing periodically to this day. She lost 60 of her friends and classmates from Loyola. The pain, both physical and emotional, has been tremendous. However, Kechi has never lost her positive attitude about life. “She doesn’t complain about much,” said Ije. “Our faith in God to bring us through this has never waivered.”

Because of the tragedy, Kechi and her family have been some of the fiercest advocates for airline reform in Nigeria.

In 2012, Dana Flight 992 crashed and killed 153 passengers and 10 people on the ground. Kechi made this statement on the IMO, Nigeria State Blog: “Again, more than a hundred lives are lost in the space of a day. Again, families all over Nigeria mourn the loss of loved ones.

“To all who had family or friends in the Dana plane crash, I offer my most sincere condolences as well as my prayers. I pray that the same God who still helps the families of those who were lost in the Sosoliso plane crash of 2005 will also be there for you all in this time of great sorrow, and that He will send his Spirit to minister peace and comfort to you, while giving you the strength to endure.”

Kechi also had the opportunity to speak out at the “60 Angels Symposium” in Abuja last year, making a video in which she spoke directly to the President of Nigeria. The video may be viewed at https://youtu.be/HGRmIQiaxn4.

This year may have brought Kechi one of her biggest triumphs to date. On May 16, she graduated from St. Thomas University in Houston with a degree in Economics and was tapped to give one of the speeches at her Commencement Ceremony at NRG Arena.

“Now, I know that everyone here has their reasons for pursuing a higher education, and I want to tell you mine,” Kechi said as she addressed her fellow graduates. “You see, to me, this degree is not just a degree. It is a gift to the 60 students that died in a plane crash I was in ten years ago. It represents the fulfillment of a promise I made, to those students and to their parents, that I would reach this important milestone on behalf of those they lost.

“As a plane crash survivor, I have been through many trials and have had to overcome numerous obstacles in order to make it this far. I could not be here today without help from God and from those around me. I suffered from third-degree burns over 65% of my body, so the healing process has understandably been a slow one, one that continues even now.

“Because of my accident, I had been out of school for so long, from ages 16 to 20, that by the time I was deemed ready to rejoin the student population, I was overeager and overzealous, despite the fact I wasn’t sure at the time what I wanted to do with my second chance at life. But all that time away from school had caused me to forget the struggles that came along with being a student: the rigors of pulling all-nighters for exams and preparing for presentations, all while trying to be responsible in our personal lives and disciplined in our preparation for the outside world.

“Considering this, I had to reflect on the meaning of the term ‘survivor.’ In my reflection, I realized that the struggles of a student are real, and to overcome them all in order to be here today… that word ‘survivor’ undoubtedly applies to us all.

“It was in this reflection, still, that I learned a very important lesson, and that is the fact that one cannot judge the extent of another person’s struggle based on their own experience.

“While I will not underestimate the difficulties I have faced in my journey toward full recovery, I will instead pray that you all join me in surviving all future challenges with the help of God and those around us.”

Kechi received a standing ovation.

For more information about Kechi, visit https://www.facebook.com/KechiOkwuchiTrust.

Ijeoma put her own story in book form in 2012 and called it, “Refined for Rebirth.” It is available on Amazon.com.

Zitara is currently attending Dawson High School and is, “infinitely proud,” of her sister.

Birthday party arranged by customer surprises H-E-B employee

Pearland resident Becky Carbone does her grocery shopping at the H-E-B Plus! On Pearland Pkwy, just as many others do. One of the things she enjoys is chatting with the employees she meets there.

Two weeks ago, Carbone met a young man that made an impression on her.

“I met an awesome man last week at H-E-B on Pearland Parkway,” said Carbone. “He insisted that he carry my groceries out to my car, even though it was raining.

“On our way out, he told me how much he loves his job! He told me that he can’t wait to come to work, and he said, ‘They even gave me 40 hours this week!’

“He was friendly, outgoing and helpful. As he loaded my groceries, he said, ‘I can’t wait till next Thursday!’ I asked him what was special about next Thursday. He said it was his birthday. He told me he was going to be 41, but everybody says that he looks 31. As I drove away, I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about the man’s joy and love of serving others.

“The man’s name is David, and he is mentally challenged. He has a wonderful attitude and an awesome work ethic!

“After thinking more about it, I called H-E-B to praise David, thank them for hiring him and tell them how much I appreciate all that they do for our community. I also wondered if they would allow a few friends to come by the store on his birthday and have a celebration,” Carbone said.

Management was all for the idea, and so they arranged to bring David McAnespy to the back conference room “for training” at 4:00 on Thursday (Apr. 23).

To McAnespy’s surprise, he was met with balloons, gifts, food, drinks, a cake, a banner and a room full of people, including his many friends, his mother, Patty Shriver and her husband Richard, Sean Murphy and Donna Rizzo from Hometown Bank, who presented David with four Astros tickets, Carbone and Sgt. Roy Castillo from the Pearland Police Dept.

McAnespy was so overwhelmed that he had to sit down.

“This is all for me?” he asked incredulously.

The man who works so hard and enjoys his job so much definitely felt the love that day as people he had never met before surrounded him with gifts and praise.

This is a large part of what makes Pearland so special: its heart.

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