STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Awesomeness: In a Faded Brown Envelope



Joined: 8/30/2013
Posts: 1
gmasback
Grace Masback

Awesomeness: In a Faded Brown Envelope

Grace started as an idea. A face on a computer screen. Small, scrawny and hopeful. Christmas was approaching and the usual holiday buzz was in the air. School hallway chatter was about the inevitable and the expected -- Christmas gifts. When it was my turn to spill, I went blank. “What did I want?” I had an iPhone, a laptop, too many clothes, and enough nail polish to keep me busy for years.

In the moment, I brushed off my friends with a laugh, but my stomach was churning. I, the girl who had everything, was so spoiled that I was going to spend another Christmas accumulating meaningless “stuff.” The bell rang, and I hurried to class.

Late that night, I found Grace on a website. She was one among many, waiting patiently next to other children in impoverished nations hoping to be sponsored by families such as mine. Though we were literally and figuratively worlds apart, I sensed immediate kinship. We shared the same name, “Grace,” a name epitomizing elegance and beauty. And, she was beautiful, in an 8-year-old kind of way, with deep, muddy skin, short, stubbly hair, and long, playful legs. Like me, she evinced a passion for reading, writing, soccer, and languages.

But, beyond the superficial details, there was something in her eyes, something that captured my attention. It was a look of hope and dogged determination. It spoke to me, telling me that though things were tough for Grace, she believed they would get better. I knew that look in different contexts. It was the one I donned for soccer games and important tests, the little battles in my easy life.

The look touched me. I clicked on the button labeled “sponsor,” opting for the gift of giving.

I didn’t meet Grace for several weeks. She arrived in a faded brown envelope postmarked “Kenya.” With some trepidation, I tore quickly at the seal. Grace tumbled out, a dog-eared photo and a yellowing piece of lined paper. She was the musty smell wafting from the envelope and the crinkly sound as I unfolded her letter. She was the scraggly penmanship that spelled out her message and the crayon drawing of her mud hut. No, she wasn’t standing next to me, but in her first letter she shook my hand and gave me a hug.

In that moment, I realized what it actually meant to be the “girl who had everything.”
Rate this:
Comment by NicoleLVMullis


Joined: 5/9/2012
Posts: 34
Wonderful story wonderfully told. Great job!

Nicole L.V. Mullis
Raising a Family Editor
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 7:16:23 PM
Rate this:
Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Thanks for entering your inspiring story into our August writing contest: Moments of Awesomeness. I want to inform you that you are a finalist for the contest. The editors are voting for their top choices for the final results, and we will contact you again if you are selected as one of our winners.

Congratulations on being a finalist.

- Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 10:46:11 PM
Rate this:
Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of Stageoflife.com's editorial team, I would like to congratulate you on being selected as our August writing contest: Moments of Awesomeness 1st place winner! Here is the link to the results page:
http://www.stageoflife.com/StageHighSchool/MomentsofAwesomeness.aspx

Congratulations!

We will be contacting you via your registration email address.

Thank you again for contributing your inspiring words to help us with our mission: "Changing the World, One Story at a Time"

- Rebecca A. Thiegs
Stageoflife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 3:10:43 PM
Rate this:
Comment by rights


Joined: 10/21/2013
Posts: 1
Felt my shoulders drop at the last sentence. I had a whole movie playing in my head. Great piece of work, so keep it going:)
Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 5:45:07 AM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us:  StageofLife.com is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on StageofLife.com.  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests


2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests





2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests


Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog

StageofLife.com was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy