We were so touched by all of your well-thought out and heartfelt submissions to the Jo+Jax Thankful Contest, which made it really tough to choose the winner. We would like to extend our thanks to every dancer, mother, or teacher who submitted stories of their personal heroes and who shared their overwhelming gratitude for a special someone in their lives. It feels good to tell those we care for that we do and we are happy to share and spread the love here at Jo+Jax.
Here are some of your awesome entries:
“Being thankful for my friend Katherine Catlett is an understatement. When I first read the giveaway essay topic, I didn’t have to think twice. Instantly, my friend Katherine popped into my mind because of the impact she has made on my life. I am thankful for all the advice she has given me, times she has stood up for me, and being there for me during difficult times.
My freshman year in high school was a difficult year. I experienced losing my best friends, going to a new school, moving dance studios, and feeling lost in general. Katherine unexpectedly reached out to me one day to invite me to lunch. The one simple question that she asked that day, “Be honest, how is your life going?” was the turning point in my life. She talked to me for hours, literally, about how I can start turning my life around. I am so grateful from this day that she had reached out to me.
“You can do anything you set your mind to,” is one of the sayings Katherine tells me repeatedly. Her motivation towards life is inspiring to me and the world around her. I am thankful for her motivation because it has inspired me to accomplish things I have never dreamed of and has brought my happiness and positive outlook back to life. When I was struggling through my freshman year, the little things she would do for me would bring sparks of joy during times of hardship and struggle.
Not only am I thankful to have Katherine motivate me when I feel unconfident, but I am also thankful for the positive spirit she brings upon the world. Along with Katherine’s motivation towards life, she also taught me how being kind, helpful, and encouraging to others can come back to bring happiness to the world and myself. I am thankful that she introduced this idea to me because it has made an impact on the world around me including myself. Even in my school, Katherine would make an end to bullying, would pass along sticky notes with happy sayings on them, and would give people she passed in the hallways complements.
This makes me thankful because I know she is benefiting everyone she encounters in this world with her kindness and how she has also impacted my life by influencing me with kind words. When I feel lonely or lost, she is always accountable and knows the best advice for every situation. Katherine, inspiring, selfless, and loving, is an amazing person to be thankful for. Because of everything she has done, my life has forever been changed, and I am grateful.”
– Submitted by Rebekah Elizabeth Garber
My name is Sydney Richardson and I am thankful for my mom. She is one of the hardest working people I know. From taking me and my little sisters to school, dance classes and rehearsals, staying up at competitions and more, she never ceases to amaze me. Her ability to do so much and still be the kind, genuine, and uplifting person she is is just beautiful. She goes through a ton, but never lets the situation take her over. She always keeps a bright smile on her face no matter the situation and is always fighting to give our family the best life possible. My sisters are twins and both have disabilities and my mother takes them to appointments, therapy sessions, and more and still has time to take care of my dad and I. My mother constantly encourages my sisters and I to believe in ourselves and fight for our dreams and what we want. They teach us to not have just dreams but goals and to fight for them everyday. She shows me what a strong woman looks like and I hope to one day be not only a strong woman but a strong mother like her.
– Submitted by Sydney Richardson
“I am blessed to have the life I do today. I have my amazing mom who teaches me to be strong, independent, hard working, and kind. I would be 100% lost without her in my life. I also have a family who is always there for me no matter what. Another thing I am beyond grateful for is my dance studio they build a second home for me to go to every day and give me the opportunity to be the best me I could be. Looking back to when I was a kid my life today seemed like a tv show and I would never think in a million years I would achieve what I have today. I’m also grateful for my guardian angel. When I was 7 I lost my dad to cancer, ever since i obviously lost someone who has been my best friend for 7 years but I gained a guardian angel. My mom has been there supporting me and my three brothers alone and it’s truly a inspiration to me. I am so grateful for everything I have from the big to the little. “ Just be grateful that every day you wake up and put two feet on the ground””
– Submitted by Anna Barry
And our winner of the $150 Jo+Jax Gift Card is (drumroll……)
Camden Rayne with her submission:
“Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing in my life if I haven’t met this person. She has inspired me in so many ways possible and I don’t know where I would be without her. This person is my dance teacher. I have known her since I was four years old, which is a while. She has taught me so many things and I honestly think that no one else would be able to do what she has done for me. She taught me how to do the thing I love, which is dance, but she has also taught me many other life skills.
Whenever I have a bad day and I think I will never be able to turn it around, she makes me laugh and I end up having a great day. Because of her she makes me love the sport I do even more and has also has given me so many great opportunities.
Besides the fact of being so kind, she has inspired me and so many other people. On October 13, 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was so hard to watch her go through that tragedy. Even though she had cancer, she still taught us everyday like she did before and went to all of our competitions which is insane for someone going through that situation. She was so motivated to still teaching us and was so strong through that whole process. On January 3, she had her last day of chemo and I’m so thankful that she is all better.
After that experience I realized that she had taught me and everyone a very valuable lesson. I learned that things may seem impossible, but you can accomplish whatever you want. Whenever I think I won’t be able to accomplish something, I think ofher and realize I don’t have things so bad. One of my favorite quotes that relate to that situation are “You have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger. The bad days make you realize what a good day is. If you never had any bad days, you would never have any sense of accomplishment.” This quote sums up a lot of stuff she taught me and I think everyone relates to this quote in some way or another.
I am so thankful that I have met someone so nice and generous. She helps guide me through dance and life and there is no one i’m more thankful for.”
– Submitted by Camden Rayne
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone again, for your effort and genuine submissions. We at Jo+Jax are most grateful for YOU!