Our CBOB family shared with us a few heroes without capes who have impacted their life in a positive way.
by: Karin Fazio
When you think of a hero what is the first thing that comes to mind? Batman? Superman? Maybe Spiderman or Captain America? All of these beloved fictional characters have been stealing the hearts of many throughout the years. Why is it that these make-believe characters are loved by millions around the world? For some it may be their astonishing good looks or their witty attitudes, but for many it is their actions to help those in need; saving individuals as they cry for help and eliminating crime in the city with their superpowers. Imagine a world where fictional characters like Superman and the Avengers were real. A world where when we needed help someone was there for us. A world where we could look up to individuals who are courageous and selfless. The best part is that we do live in that kind of world. If you think about it, everyday we are surrounded by heroes. They may not have an elaborate costume or the supernatural powers, but everyday people inspire us to be better versions of ourselves and set examples for everyone around them.
Yennis Diaz is a student at Unicolombo in Cartagena, Colombia. Yennis’ hero is our very own IAMCBOB scholar, Yosimar Palacios Becerra. Yennis met Yosimar back in 2008 in Granitos de Paz through CBOB. Yosimar has changed the life of Yennis tremendously by encouraging her to go to school and learn English. Yennis struggled with getting an education when she was younger, but Yosimar told her that she can start from the bottom. “He always helps me when I need him.” Yennis states. What Yennis admires the most about Yosimar is his constant state of positivity. “He’s always friendly, he’s good to everyone,” she gushes. Regardless of the situation or time Yennis can always count on Yosimar to listen to her, even if that means for hours. Yosimar is extremely honored to be considered a hero to someone else. It means a lot for him that his example can motivate others to do better. “As the saying goes, many hands can make light work. Helping others is something that always makes me happy. Whenever I can do something to make other people’s day better I am always willing to make that happen. It’s hard to say no whenever I know I can help someone in need.” Yosimar wants to thank Yennis for choosing her as his hero. “I’m going to always be there for her and she can always count on me no matter what.”
For our Training Coordinator, Samira Gasanovna, Helena Chapman has been a huge influence in her life. Chapman will be an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Fall 2017.The two met in January of 2016 when Chapman was Gasanovna’s group facilitator during their workshop for the Florida Opportunity Scholars Academy of Leadership. Gasanovna admires Chapman’s caring nature both in her personal life and professional world. “She sets the best example of what a human being should strive for. She touches the lives of people far and wide, big and small, white or black or green.” Samira explains. Chapman’s accomplishments shows Gasanovna that Chapman will continuously develop more skills and knowledge everyday. “Her drive and ambition to make a change in public health is a direct reflection of her work ethic. There is no one else I'd seek out for guidance and support.” says Gasanovna. Gasanovna’s favorite memory with Chapman includes all of their countless hours talking together. They always lose track of time, it seems that they have so much to share to one another that time is infinite. Gasanovna thoroughly enjoys listening to Chapman’s input on life. It allows her to reflect on her own decisions and behaviors.If Gasanovna could tell Chapman one thing she’d thank her for always seeing the light of potential in her when she couldn’t. Chapman is humbled by Gasanovna’s nomination. Gasanovna’s kind words inspire Chapman to further her global health journey. “This positive energy can only be felt with the heart and soul, as described by Helen Keller ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.’” Chapman believes that caring for others is a fundamental attribute as we promote peace, diversity, and solidarity across our local, national, and international communities. “As a global society, if we share support, joy, and kindness with others, then we can continue to spread our positive energy.” Chapman states. Gasanovna’s words have energized Chapman to strengthen global health leadership by further implementing health education, promotion, and research initiatives in communities, empowering physicians-in-training to be change agents in their communities, and serving as a mentor to health professional students. As quoted by Chapman “These reflections are invaluable, as described by Maya Angelou ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’”.
A daughter’s love for her mother is an indescribable feeling. Not only do mothers provide their children with support, love, and encouragement, but it’s obvious that they have superpowers of their own. Which is why Shana Call, our Volunteer Coordinator, considers her mom, Darlene Herbert, a hero. Call has learned from Herbert how to give selflessly and how to be an advocate for those is need. “Her attitude of compassion and empathy makes her just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside”. In hindsight Herbert impacted Call the most while receiving her Nursing degree. Herbert’s perseverance allowed her to achieve her goal despite being a mother of four. “She not only put her dreams on hold to make her children a priority, she showed me it doesn’t matter when you get your degree it matters when you pursue your dream. She inspires me daily.” If Call could tell her mother one thing she would thank her for never giving up on her. Herbert supported Call at her lowest and encouraged her to reach the potential Herbert knew she possessed. Herbert is immensely proud that Call chose her as her hero. “My heart was overwhelmed.” Herbert explains. Herbert grew up in a difficult circumstance and felt it was crucial to make everyone feel loved and important. “I would tell Shana that she is loved so much and I am so proud of the person she has become. Watching her grow has been wonderful.”
Whether it’s our friends, mentors, or family members, we are all surrounded by heroes in disguise. So I encourage all of you to take a moment to thank and appreciate the hero in your life. We can all be a hero for others in our community with selfless acts and a passion to help those around us.