by Kota from Folsom

Hero. Just think about that word for a second. It is interesting how such a small, simple, 4-letter word could be given to so few people. Whether they have super powers or not, all heroes share a few common characteristics: they are caring, optimistic, selfless, inspiring and many more. As a child and now, I have always looked up to my parents as amazing role models and my own heroes, especially my mother, Akiko Hayes. She inspires me to be a better person everyday and has taught me everything about living as I approach college and the next chapter of my own life.

As some of you may or may not know, I am Japanese, and that is all thanks to my mother. She came to the U.S very shortly after marrying my dad in 1989. She was immediately confronted to the challenge of adjusting to a new country and life. She had to adjust to a new culture, countless traditions, values, norms, and a new language. My parents could only speak to each other in French because my mother didn't know English at the time. But she endured through all of the challenges and now looks somewhat like your average American. She showed how you can get through anything with hard work and effort.

My mother was the one who taught me how to read, write, walk, talk and she was the one to give birth to me. When I was learning how to walk, she was the one that would pick me up and push me to try again even when I fell down countless times. She was the one that, despite all of her many duties and responsibilities she had, helped me with learning to write my name and teaching me my ABC's. She was also the one who helped me understand the basic addition and subtraction rules when I got confused. My mother is the one who helped introduce the world to me. She would go through a whole juggling act with balancing out many responsibilities from her own needs, her parents, work, myself, my sister and dad. She loves gathering my family together for a nice meal, as you can see in this picture of my mother and I. This is why she inspires me so much and why I want to be like her; she was there for me when I greatly needed it.

Now if you know my mother, you would know that she is one of the most optimistic and supporting individuals you can ever meet anywhere. She always shows a positive and optimistic mood because you can see so much more by looking up rather than by looking down. Wherever she goes, she always tries to give a positive impact to anyone who needs it. When I have a bad day at school, for example, she was the one that turned my frown upside down. If you saw her right now, I guarantee you that she would have a smile on her face because that is just the type of person she is. She has taught me how important having a positive attitude and mind is in life and that there isn't a reason why you should be unhappy.

My mother was the one that encouraged me to experience new things and try things not in my comfort zone. She was the one that introduced me and encouraged me to try baseball, and now baseball is one of my favorite things in life. Honestly, she was the one that encouraged me to take GPS my freshman year and I wound up in this class my senior year. Had she not done this, who knows what class I would be taking right now Also, my mother pushed me to take AP classes and even though they were challenging in many ways, I knew it was well worth it. She would also always tell me "I would never be disappointed in anything you try, whether you succeed or not". This saying of hers has helped me with experiencing new things and expanding my comfort zone without fear of failure.

Everything my mother has done to help my family and I live a meaningful life and just enjoy life in general is certainly humbling and inspiring to me. This is why I love her so much and why she is my true hero.

Page created on 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/24/2018 2:03:11 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.