Nick's Role Models and Influences

Five people who have influenced Nick Moolenijzer greatly

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel was a young boy living in Transylvania when Nazis began to round up Jews for placement in ghettos and internment camps. Along with his mother, father, and sisters, Wiesel was sent to multiple different concentration camps, avoiding death through perseverance, sheer will, and some luck. His younger sister, his father, and his mother were not so lucky – they were killed before the war was over. Since the end of the Holocaust, Wiesel has written about his experiences, spoken out against evil, and fought for peace worldwide. He has received numerous awards for his efforts, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal.


Ever since I read Night and many of Wiesel's essays in my sophomore history class, I have been very interested in Wiesel's struggle and his efforts for world peace. He has assuredly shaped how I view the world and how I want to help change the world. He is inspirational in his attempts to find peace in every part of the world, and his contributions are truly amazing.

Jack Moolenijzer

Jack Moolenijzer, my brother, has obviously had life experiences very similar to mine. He also was born in New Mexico and has lived in countless different cities (including Amsterdam, Brisbane, Seattle, and Albuquerque) spanning across three different continents. After finally staying in one place for four year, he graduated from Gig Harbor High School in 2011, and now attended the University of Washington.


Jack has always been an excellent role model. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always watched what my brother did so that I would know what to do. He has always been willing to take the first step or do something first so that I would have a model to look at and follow. He's incredibly kind and well-rounded, an excellent person to model after.

Kay and Nick Moolenijzer

Both my parents were born on the West Coast: my mom, Kay, was born in Montana and my dad, Nick, in California. My mom only moved once, to Washington, when she was a young girl and lived on a farm near Seattle for the rest of her childhood. After she graduated from High School, she went to multiple different universities before settling on the University of Washington where she earned a degree in Geology, soon after which she got a job. When my brother and I were born, she quit her job and took care of us. She recently got a new job at the University of Dallas since my brother is in college and I will soon be in college as well. My father, similar to my brother and I, moved a lot as a kid. His father was an immigrant from the Netherlands so my dad had a lot of European influences in his life. He finished high school in Missouri before moving to New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico, where he initially majored in art but soon decided to change to engineering.


Throughout my life, my parents have served as the ultimate role models. They both are always there to guide my decisions and help me learn how to be a good person. They have constantly instilled important values in me, though it was surely hard when I was an obnoxious little kid. Whenever I am not sure how to go forward with whatever I am doing, whether it's as inconsequential as how to do my homework or it's as important as deciding what college to go to, my parents are always there to help my decision along. They almost always give suggestions, not commands, which is really important for me, because that means I can make personal decisions that still take their ideas into account.

Albus Dumbledore

As Professor Albus Dumbledore grew up, he grew stronger and stronger as a wizard. He faced massive adversity in his life, including the accidental death of his sister and his father's imprisonment. Often, he was alone in his quest to do good things in the world, and he constantly had to rely on himself. He did exceedingly well at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and then he eventually went on to be a professor there. Eventually, he become the headmaster of one of the best wizard schools.


Although it seems silly to have a role model that's a fictional character, I sincerely see Dumbledore as someone that influenced my life greatly and who has a good character to follow. His constant fighting for the oppressed and for the good of all people is valiant. He often says things that are excellent words to live by, such as when he tells Harry that "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." These phrases are not only important to understanding Dumbledore as a character but it also gives good advice to readers. I actually think that being a fictional character is almost better, because then there won't usually be surprises about who he really is, and it's also more accessible to everyone: anyone can look up to Dumbledore after they read the series.

Andrew Piacitelli

Andrew Piacitelli has spent most of his life in Gig Harbor, Washington, where he will graduate from high school in the coming summer. He is quite intelligent and friendly, always willing to help out when necessary. The most striking thing about him is that although he's smart, he is also very normal and down to earth, always looking to have fun with whatever he does. He will assuredly do well in the future.


Friends are often the best role models, because they are often in similar situations as you and can help show how to handle them. Andrew is a great example of this type of role model, because he isn't afraid to do something first and he usually does it well. He is also a great character role model - for instance, when we were both freshmen and didn't really know each other that well, I didn't have a partner for a history project so he asked me to be in his group. It was a simple gesture, but it was really kind and empathetic, and showed me that I really should try to do similar things for people who look like they are left out. A lot of time, I also tend to think too much about the future and not enough about what's happening now, but being friends with Andrew has helped me realize how important it is to live now and enjoy every day.