Hero Project

By Lily


Welcome to my hero smore! On this page, you will learn my personal hero, my grandpa, who has polio. Through a recording where I am interviewing him, you will listen to him talk about his experiences with polio. You will also learn about my untouchable hero, Angelina Jolie, and her selflessness accomplishments outside of acting.

What does it mean to be a hero?

A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. When the word "hero" is heard, images of strong, caped, flying man spring to mind, whether it be Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. These well-known protagonists are examples of heroes. However, one does not have to have superpowers to be a hero. Anyone who takes control of their inspirational qualities such as courage or selflessness and perseveres as hard as they can to accomplish their goals is considered a hero.

A hero is a soldier in a war pushing their squad member out of the way of a bullet soaring towards his head. Imagine you're running through the middle of a battlefield. A bomb detonates just a few yards to the left of you. Every second your life and the life of your friend- who is also part of your squad. Consider this- Making decisions that affect your entire life usually take months to decide. But not for this soldier. In the fraction of the second that he sees the gun pointed at his squad member, he decides that this life is more important than his own. He dives in front of the bullet, and it sinks into his chest. In the scenario, the soldier doesn't have time to think about what's right or what he should do- only what his instincts tell him to do, which is to do everything he can to save a life. Heroism is being displayed by the soldier who puts the lives of others before himself.

A hero is a young woman sacrificing one of her kidneys so that her beloved dying mother can survive. Imagine a kidney waiting list much too long for your mother to live, meaning the only she can survive is if someone she knows personally donates one to her. Picture going through surgery and losing an entire organ. for someone you care about. Would you sacrifice this for someone you love? Anyone with the bravery, love, and selflessness are able to perform a challenge like this. You don't have to have super powers or even train for it, you just have to have heroic qualities. Doing this puts the health and life of someone you care about in front of your own.

To conclude, a soldier fighting for their country in a war and a woman donating a kidney to her mother share the strong qualities of being a hero. Showing selflessness, sacrifice for another person, perseverance, and bravery are the building blocks of being a hero for other people to look up to. Do you show these qualities? Are you a true hero? Next time you see a little boy or girl running around in a cape yelling, “I am a hero!” tell him or her, “You don’t need a cape or super powers to be a hero- you just need a brave and kind heart.”

Click here to listen to an interview with my grandpa!

If you think getting boring socks is a bad birthday present, imagine being diagnosed with polio on your tenth birthday. In this interview, you will learn about Jerry Greeno, my grandfather, and his struggles and experiences with polio.

My Untouchable Hero

Anyone who takes control of their inspirational qualities such as courage or selflessness and perseveres as hard as they can to accomplish their goals can be considered a hero. Angelina Jolie is best known as a talented actress who has won many awards. However, she is also an educator and powerful woman, with the things she has accomplished in Cambodia and her courage with cancer and surgery. With her bravery, perseverance, and selflessness, Angelina is a true hero.

First, Angelina is a hero because she is the Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations. She travels around the world and educates people about the issues in different locations. One of the places she has spent a lot of time in is Cambodia. In Cambodia, she learned a lot about the lifestyle by spending time with children in school. She mentioned that one of the things that really made her realize how different life can be in certain places is people who live in Cambodia have to be cautious of land mines from the 80s and 90s that were planted in the Civil War, which is very scary: "'When I first came to Cambodia, it changed me,' she told The Associated Press. 'It changed my perspective'" (World Entertainment News Network). She decided to make a movie there called "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and is now filming a new movie called "First They Killed My Father". Before going to Cambodia, she didn't consider having children, but once she had spent time with the children there, she decided to adopt Maddox in 2002, and continued to have and adopt children after that.

Second, Angelina Jolie is a hero because of her bravery while going through surgery to prevent cancer. Her mother, aunt, and grandma all died of cancer, so when her test results showed that she had a 87% chance of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer, it was very nostalgic for her because she remembered how hard it was for her when her relatives died. Even though she didn't actually have cancer yet and there was still a chance that she wouldn’t get it, she knew the risk was higher because of her family history. She decided to get a full hysterectomy and mastectomy, and talked a lot about it to help other women going through the same thing. In an article called "Diary of a Surgery" Angelina Jolie wrote, she reveals, "I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, 'Mom died of ovarian cancer'" (Jolie).

My grandpa and Angelina Jolie have a lot in common; they both had to deal with very serious, life threatening health issues. Angelina didn't just give up on everything she cared about when she got her tests results. She took action by getting surgeries that probably saved her life. Even though my grandpa has an illness that makes it harder for him to do activities that he enjoys doing, he continues to do them because of his perseverance.

According to my definition, a hero is inspiring and has the qualities of selflessness, perseverance, and courage. Angelina is brave and inspirational for doing the surgery and selfless to help people in Cambodia and educating the world about the issues their. Although they are are challenging for him and he has to do them differently, my grandpa still does activities like biking, hiking, and gardening, which is very courageous, persistent and inspiring. Angelina Jolie and my grandpa are heroes because they both have these qualities.

My heroes have taught me many things. They have taught me not to let negative things stop me from doing the things I love, and to take control of the situation in order to make it better. They have taught me that if you can't do something the "normal" way, it is okay to do it differently. They have taught me that it's important to have knowledge instead of assuming something. They have taught me to be all of the qualities of a hero.


Cholera, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, smallpox, and many more are very deadly diseases that many people have died from throughout history. The reason people know about them is most likely because they have read, watched, or heard old stories about them, but not because they know anyone today who has one these illnesses. This is because of our universal hero, vaccine. Most people go to the doctor every year to get a shot, but some do not believe in vaccines for various reasons. Vaccines should stay mandatory in all 50 states.

First used in the United States in 1721, vaccines have been around for hundred of years. In fact, it was used to prevent smallpox at around 1000 AD in China, Africa, and Turkey. The original version of the vaccine was created by Edward Jenner by using a disease similar to smallpox that occurs in cows called cowpox. In 1796 Edward Jenner first used it to vaccinate an eight year old boy.

The opposition might argue that vaccines should not be mandatory because they can harm the body. Some of the possible side effects are allergic reactions, seizures, paralysis, death, autism, ADHD, and a type of bowel blockage called intussusception, and diabetes. If the vaccines prevent other diseases but just cause other health threatening side effects anyway, there is no point to getting the vaccine. This shows that vaccines should not be mandatory because there are so many possible severe side effects. This makes getting vaccinated very dangerous.

On the other hand, these side effects are not common and the diseases that one can get if they get vaccinated can be even worse. Most people only have the side effect of being slightly sore or having a red spot where they were injected. It is very rare for anyone to have the severe

side effects such as seizures, diabetes, death, etc. In fact, only 1 in a million children have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Even if they do, the doctors are ready with supplies such as epipens. Only 1 person out of 200,000 acquire the bowel blockage. Additionally, the symptoms of the disease that are prevented by the vaccine can be much worse. For example, smallpox was one of the first diseases to be vaccinated. The symptoms of this disease that has wiped out many people throughout history are fever, overall discomfort, severe fatigue and back pain, headaches, and vomiting that begin about seven to seventeen days after one catches the disease. Eventually, red lesions covering the body that turn into blisters that pus or sores that break open, possibly death, possible blindness, and scars are added to the list of side effects. Another deadly disease repressed by vaccine is rabies. Spread by the saliva or bite of an infected animal, the symptoms range from fevers and vomiting to hallucinations, paralysis, hyperactivity, and death. My grandfather has an illness, polio, that caused him to be partly paralyzed and spend many months in the hospital because when he was a child, he did not get vaccinated for this severe disease. Clearly, symptoms of these illnesses stopped by the vaccines are in fact just as bad and some even worse than the rare side effects of the vaccine. Because the symptoms of the diseases prevented can be worse than the side effects, this means that the better option would be to get vaccinated.

Another argument the opposing side could make is that vaccines should not be required because they are against some religions. If one is religious, it is not fair for them to be forced to go against the rules of their religion in order to take a vaccine. This means the United States

violate its own rule because in the first amendment is the freedom of religion. If this law is preventing people from practicing their religion, it should be eradicated.

However, in almost all states, forty-eight out of fifty, people can be excused from certain vaccinations for their religious belief. Citizens who would like to be excused are questioned by state officials, so they must be able to defend their reasons and religion. One does not have to be a part of a religious group, church, temple, etc. in order to go through the exemption process. All citizens will have access to their first amendment rights, so it is fair to all citizens. The law requiring vaccines for children in schools should remain a law as long as they don't take away citizens’ freedoms.

Vaccines for students need to be required by law in all 50 states. Although people are worried about side effects, they are highly unlikely and the diseases that are prevented have effects that are just as bad and even worse than the vaccine side effects. Also, vaccines are against some religions, but the law allows people to be excused from the vaccines if it's against their religion.

Works Cited

Mercola, Joseph. "How to Legally Get a Vaccine Exemption." Mercola.com. N.p., 27 Sept. 2011

"Polio." - Mayo Clinic. N.p., 11 Mar. 2014.
"Rabies." Symptoms. N.p., 02 Jan. 2014.
"Smallpox." Complications. N.p., 16 Aug. 2014.
"Vaccines ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 2016

“Angelina Jolie” Newsmakers, 02 July 2015: Gale Biography in Context

“Angelina Jolie: 'First Trip To Cambodia Sparked My Search For Knowledge'” World

Entertainment News Network, 17 Feb. 2016: Gale Biography in Context

Jolie, Angelina “Diary of a Surgery” The New York Times, March 24, 2015: Gale Biography in