Byrd Baggett

Sarah Randall

Sarah Randall

What accomplishment exemplifies your commitment to serve and inspire hope in others?

The accomplishment that most exemplifies my commitment to serve and inspire hope in others is the journey that I took as part of the 1600M relay team as we have led the road to the 5A State Track and Field meet in 201l My journey began as a freshman at Central High School whereby I joined the Central Track Team, along with two teammates specifically that competed with me in junior high; all three of us began our track career at Central together and qualified to run on the high school relay teams. At first, it was an honor just to be a part of the Central High School Track Team. As each year progressed, though, I moved more toward servitude for teammates and less as an individual. As my teammates and I ran more and more together it was clear that there was a growing amount of trust, dedication, motivation, and pride- We developed a burning desire to succeed as a team and became one unit working together. We worked hard, not only for ourselves individually, but for the success of the relay team.

Being a part of the 1600M Relay team became such an integral part of me that I could not wait to be on the track in the afternoons. As the workouts became more challenging I became more enthused to do my best. Others observed my dedication to improve my performance and that commitment actually served as an unintentional inspiration for them. At times, my teammates were not prepared for practice; perhaps they were too tired or too stressed. I wanted everyone to enjoy running as much as I did, so I moved my teammates toward giving their best through positive encouragement, humor, or a smile.

As we progressed along through the seasons, we became a faster and faster team. It now became a matter of running not only to do our best individually, but to do our best for the team. As juniors, we now had a formidable goal in sight. We approached the district as a favored team in the 1600M relay race. I had committed so much energy and time to the team, that I presently had the feeling that I was running more for the team than for myself. At the district race, I recall as I ran the last stretch of my leg the only thing that was on my mind wag "I have to keep going for my girls!" We won the race, broke the district and school records, and won a district title.

As we prepared for the regional meet, we continued our dedication toward the workouts and our vision. I encouraged the team more and more as I knew this was the year we must qualify for the state meet - the team was comprised of three juniors and one senior. Day after day, we worked with every bit of our soul toward achieving our goal. We ran at the regional meet won the wildcard and were ranked sixth in the largest division in the state of Texas! We had made it and we accomplished our goal as a team. I am very blessed to have experienced this journey of success, determination and bonding. It is one event that I can truly feel an abundance of joy, in part because of my dedication to my teammates' and in another, to my never-ending inspiration toward keeping our spirit alive and helping to achieve our dream.

Are there any unusual circumstances you would like to explain or any comments that you would like to make concerning your financial situation?

Yes, there are unusual circumstances that I would like to comment on pertaining to my financial situation. I live with my mother and this summer, her job at the university was cut back. After months looking for employment my mother has begun a new career. While she has been in transit, we have had to reduce our budget in order to have enough to pay for our living expenses.

Give an example that illustrates your ability to keep hope alive, as you have persevered through disappointments and adversity in your life.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis. I was devastated when I heard the news about the severity of the curve on my back. The doctor suggested surgery would be the next step, but would wait six to twelve months to proceed. I was so scared about the idea of surgical rods being inserted into my back and I thought my life would change forever and dramatically. I went through a series of heavy duty x-rays, talked with multiple doctors and spent hours at physical therapy. All the while, I knew that I had to keep an upbeat outlook about the situation; after all, I was still blessed with so many gifts. My family and friends prayed and prayed for me, as I did, too. I just knew that t had to trust in God that everything would be okay and I took on each day with that attitude.

After a year, it was time to go back to the doctor for another check up along with the x-rays. For each appointment I traveled to the Baylor Scoliosis Center in Plano, Texas. I always tied to be positive about my condition, thinking that there were worse things that could happen, but at times it was difficult. Nonetheless, we traveled to Plano that day, I took x-rays, and we met with the doctor. He showed us the x-rays and he said that he had never seen anything like this before. There on the x-ray, was a cracked vertebra that was not evident on the first x-ray. My curve went down from almost a 50-degree curve to under 35-degrees and was no longer a threat to repair The cracked vertebra was a significant find because it now looked like sciatic scoliosis, which is the only type of scoliosis that would have a chance to retract its curve. The crack, not a threatening condition, was not there on any previous x-rays; it had just allowed the sciatic fluid to somehow work the spine into a better position. There was now not one threat of surgery! I knew that God had been looking after me; He must have a different plan for me than the original x-rays showed. From this life-changing experience, I know that I will always maintain I a "can do" attitude in order to overcome obstacles. I realize that you never know what the future holds and it is a good thing to be hopeful.

I will never forget that day and the miracle that happened to me. I know that my faith, my positive attitude, my family and friends, and my everlasting hope all came together to create a "rock", that I held onto each day. I will remember that rock and I know this I will be able to overcome any challenges that come into my life from this condition of adversity that I had faced.

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Byrd Baggett, CSP

Byrd Baggett, CSP