I tend to get stuck in deep philosophical thinking. When I want to do something to participate in social justice I think about Nicholas Kristof or Paulo Friere or Nelson Mandela. I see what they have done and I want to start where they are, where they left off. And then I tell myself, I am not a journalist or a politician or a “significant education thinker” (as Friere is described on the back of his book) I am just a mid-western social worker with no money and no power. So as i am sitting around trying to figure out what I can do to get more money, more power, more education, more everything, other people are out in the world doing. I am so focused on doing something huge that effects all, that actually doing something. So today I am inspired by a girl. Aster is a high school student that I claim to know (although she likely does not remember me). Her name is Aster and she is an Ethiopian girl who has been in the states for a handful of years. She is a loved daughter and sister. She is an advocate. She is a voice. When she arrived from Ethiopia she was able to keep her Amharic. When other children started coming to her community she volunteered to go to their homes, speak to them in their language, and braid there hair. And although this may seem small, it is actually huge. Giving someone an afternoon of the culture they have lost is an amazing gift. Now Aster is a senior in high school and has embarked on an inspiring journey. She is using her story, her experience her blessings to educate us, advocate for change and give opportunity to her community of origin. I will let her tell you the rest, and I hope you are just as inspired as I am. And I hope that I can learn from Aster that I don’t have to sit by feeling sorry for myself that I am not a political and social leader, but I am a person who can give… through people like Aster, through organizations like YZM and through initiatives I may start myself.