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

Trust and Safety: Safe in Humanity

Joined: 10/30/2011
Posts: 13
By Tiana Ferrante

It was Friday the thirteenth. Hurricane Charley scraped the roof off my home, and dragged my soul away with it. My nine-year-old mind searched for stability, as well as the comfort of my trashed stuffed animals, yet I was overwhelmed by the scene presented; the tendrils of homelessness suffocated not only my security, but my ability to cope. After Hurricane Charley destroyed my home in August 2004, I forgot how to live; I forgot how to read.

I was compelled to shape my own concept of what it is to be a victim of a natural disaster or any misfortune, for that matter. Until that point, my echelon of sympathy was nonexistent; I had never truly encountered anyone for whom I felt compassion. Moreover, as the shock of the chaos disintegrated, I detected an unknown passion shooting through my veins. I didn't know my self-pity had turned on me at that moment, but it couldn't have been more clear that it had. Rampant as it was, the self-pity transformed as time progressed; it evolved into another kind of emotion, an emotion for which I was not the object. In fact, as I re-learned to read, I read more and more about the hurricane and those whom fortune had not treated as kindly as it had me. The feeling again burst through my veins, my heart thumped under my goose-bumped skin, and I knew that I felt compassion.

Coincidentally, four months of homelessness can transform a person from a selfish individual to one of care and concern. I found myself feeling increased emotion than prior to the trauma of losing my home, and the sight of victims of every misfortune would drench my heart in sympathetic tears. Gone was the nullification of others' dismay, gone was the living in luxurious self-absorption I had cultivated. I knew that I found what had been obscured; I had found my humanity for the first time.
Rate this:
Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Trust and Safety writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 2:45:28 PM
Rate this:
Comment by tianaaa14

Joined: 10/30/2011
Posts: 13
Thank you so much! I truly appreciate this honor.
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 3:44:28 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: 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  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 Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. 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 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