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Wisdom is knowing how to appropriately use the knowledge you have already acquired, but to pass on what I’ve learned in five hundred words is a challenge.

As a incoming Sophomore in high school, I have seen how many children and young adults act under today’s pressured society. Many have caved into peer pressure wanting to be seen and popular, yet afraid to walk down the hallway without being judged. So many are afraid to show what true talents and works of art they can be associated with, but too weary of how they may be reflected back by their community.

As a victim of being bullied throughout my 8th grade year, I found my own ways to prosper and thrive outside of this shelter of judgement and misunderstood “rankings” of childhood. I had the fortune of stumbling upon my dream career so early in life, and even more fortunate to serve for an amazing organization, with what talents I had.

It does not matter what other children, young adults, or adults think of you, as long as you are doing what you love and contribute to your community and the people around you for the better of the world.

I stick to this moral whenever I find myself caught between kids who think I am trying too hard or adults who think I have done too much and assume I am “not living for the moment”. I believe that if you are doing what you enjoy and benefit from it, then the moment is yours.

Attitude will always matter. Don’t ever be discouraged, and then again, never be discouraging. The support you will need is always right around the corner, coming from parents, family, leaders, role models, friends and such! The key to achievement is the acceptance of recognizing when you are wrong or in need in help.

I’d studied meteorology for three years, severe weather in particular, but was unable to forecast a single storm until I learned from my mistakes. The number of friends and mentors assisting me with my many questions were infinite during the process of making my first accurate forecast of a tornado days in advance. I also have to face when I’m wrong, and the consequences that might be be affiliated with them.

Opportunities aren’t rare, but they aren’t abundant either. I’ve had many opportunities entering this field, some of which were impossible due to age, but from those missed opportunities came more! They just might not be what you’d expect.

Say if you miss out on a trip, in my case a deployment to a disaster stricken area, I still have the chance to listen and learn from my teammates who had gone. This gives you the knowledge of what you might be seeing when you are in their position, and the wisdom of knowing what has happened in the past and how to approach issues found in the future.

If you know what matters to you, it will matter to everyone.

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My name is Jessica Bacon and I am 15 years old. I am entering my sophomore year of high School, enrolled in the maximum amount of courses as well as many clubs. As a long time Girl Scout since Kindergarten, I've earned the Bronze and Silver Awards and is in the beginning stages of earning my Gold award. I am an avid reader, and earned high honors through most of my grade school years. I have been interested in severe weather for as long as I can remember and attempted to earn my way into a career at 11 years old, although I was 14 until I finally found my way. I live and breathe meteorology! When I was in 8th grade, my mother found a program sponsored by the Girl Scouts, and that's how I met Eddy Weiss from Chasing4Life.

Also while in 8th grade, I travelled to Denver, Colorado to experience ChaserCon, the national Storm Chaser Conference. The convention provided 2 full days of seminars, and I took copious notes and devoured the information presented. This is where I learned the basics of how to forecast for tornados, and I seemed to have a knack for it. This "knack" was tested in 2011 when I was called on by Chasing4Life to work as a storm tracker for the Chasing4Life Tracking Center. This involvement had me tracking severe weather for fire departments, emergency management agencies, festivals, disaster response deployments and more! I proved not only to be accurate, but was responsible for saving many lives throughout a year of historic severe weather.
I am now a full-fledged uniformed member of not only the Chasing4Life instructional team, but also is a Lead Tracker/Forecaster for the Chasing4Life Disaster Response Team.

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