Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and none braver than Kaitlin Roig, a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman went on a killing spree at the small Newtown, Connecticut, school, killing 20 children and six adult staff members. On hearing gunshots, Kaitlin crammed her 15 six and seven-year-old students into a small classroom bathroom, some on top of the toilet so they could all fit and barricaded the door with a bookcase. In an interview with ABC's Dianne Sawyer, she recalled the horrific events.
Most people would have been traumatised, but Kaitlin Roig used the experience as inspiration to create a non-profit organisation called Classes 4 Classes, a way to encourage every kid in the U.S. to have a genuine interest in the wellbeing of others and help others through a website platform that helps them to pay it forward.
Put other people's needs before your own.
It ain't how hard you hit, it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
If ever there was a kid with grit and determination, it's Matt Woodrum. Born with spastic cerebral palsy, the 11-year-old is showing the world that it's more about your attitude than your ability. Now a YouTube sensation, the video clip of Matt running 400 metres has gone viral. As he slowed towards the end, his PE teacher ran over to join him in the last leg while the rest of his class at Colonial Hills Elementary chanted his name, spurring him across the finish line.
When life gets tough, think of Matt Woodrum, who presses through the pain and keeps on going.
Winning does not mean crossing the finish line first.
An Australian champion cross-country skier, Janine Shepherd was in training for the Winter Olympics when she was hit by a truck during a bicycle ride in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Doctors did not expect her to survive and, when she did, they warned her that she would never walk again. Being a partial paraplegic wasn't the end of Janine's life, it was the beginning of a new one as a pilot, an aerobatics instructor and a motivational speaker. Her story is best told in her own words.
It is only through the process of losing everything we thought we needed that we find who we truly are.
One of the most inspirational people, Nick Vujicic's catchphrase in life is, "no arms, no legs, no worries."
Born in Australia in 1982 without legs or arms, only what he calls a chicken drumstick, Nick hasn't let his disability stop him from doing anything. He plays soccer, he swims, he even met the love of his life, got married and is a father. As the director of Life Without Limbs, Nick now travels the world as a motivational speaker.
Be thankful, dream big and never give up.
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