Office of Student Life

Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program

Letter to a Mentor - Sam Weiss

May 29, 2020 by Beth Johnson

Dear Mom and Dad,

Since I was little, you’ve told me to reach for the stars. But, reaching for the stars can be hard when you have broken arms. I had dreams of becoming an astronaut, a racecar driver, a doctor, and more. Not once did you ever doubt that my ability to succeed.

While I had lofty dreams, I also was left bedridden with pain most days—my broken arms. And while I navigated schoolwork and extracurriculars, you both had the toughest job imaginable: riding the fine line between maintaining high standards for me and understanding that, sometimes, it was all just too much. You had done your job so well, that when I finally was healed after high school, I was ready. You told me I could do anything I put my mind to. That’s the reason I worked at a refugee camp; the reason I so willing and repeatedly hop into foreign countries; the reason I take every opportunity that comes my way. Dad, I’ve always looked up to your determination and how you jump at every opportunity while keeping your eye on the prize. Mom, I’ve always admired your compassion and passion for doing what you love. These traits, combined with your constant reminding that I must work to heal the world and perform acts of loving kindness, have made me who I am today. Though I continue to reach for the stars, I know I could never have made it this far without you both.