Hero Project

By: Claire Snedegar

Getting to know Aria

Aria Snedegar is a junior at New Trier high school. She is a co-head of the New Trier debate team and the New Trier boys and girls club. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and basketball. She has two dogs, two cats, and a tortoise.

Defining a hero

The dictionary definition of a hero is a mythical or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. However, there are heroes that aren't just a fictional character in a movie or book, there are real life heroes. My definition of a hero differs from the dictionary definition. I would define a hero as someone who preservers through challenges, and someone is willing to put others needs before their own.

A hero is someone who spends their time volunteering. Imagine someone working hard for long hours for no money. Consider how much this work helps those in need. This person is making the lives of others better purely out of the kindness of their own hearts. They receive nothing in return for this except for gratitude and appreciation for those whom they have helped. The actions of those who volunteer are truly heroic and kind.

A hero is also someone who spends every day of the week working to support their family. Imagine not getting to spend time with your loved ones. Consider the loneliness you would feel from being separated from your family. Constantly working to support your family is a huge sacrifice. Those who work this often are doing everything they can to make sure their family has an adequate supply of income. Even though they know that this means giving up a big part of their lives, they are thinking more about others than themselves. Constantly working to support your family is a very honorable and heroic action.

Those who spend their time volunteering and those who spend their time constantly working fulfill the definition of a hero. Anyone who puts others needs before their own and helps others before themselves shows heroism. The dictionary definition of being a hero is impossible to fulfill, but those who make sacrifices for others are real life heroes. What does being a hero mean to you? Do you know anyone who you consider to be a hero? There are many heroes in the world who aren't thanked for their brave and selfless actions. Maybe it's time they got noticed as the heroes they are.

Victories and verticals

A hero is someone who works hard to achieve their goals and perseveres through challenges. My hero is Leslie Burr Howard. She is an amazingly talented horseback rider who has won many Grand Prix shows and has achieved an Olympic Gold Medal. Leslie Burr Howard deserves the title of hero because of her hard work and her perseverance.

Leslie Burr Howard is a hero because she works hard to achieve her goals and she doesn't let anything stop her from being the best rider she can be. Leslie was even able to win the Angelstone International with a broken leg because of her perseverance. During an interview, Leslie explains, “When you're winning it doesn't really bother you that much. Had I lost, it would have really bothered me!” (Berreth) Leslie already knew that she loved riding at a young age. At the age of four, Leslie was already striving to reach her goal of winning an Olympic gold medal. With her stopwatch in hand, Leslie would throw her saddle on her horse and race around a track in her yard, always striving to beat her previous times. Her hard work payed off, for at just the age of 15 years old, she won the 1972 ASPCA Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden. This laid the groundwork for her success as an adult rider. In 1984, Leslie won the AGA Rider of the Year award and won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Later in her life, she went on to win many more shows, including the Grand Prix of North Salem, the Old Salem Farm May II show, McDaniel and Associates Cup, Duncan Ross Jumper Cup, West Canadian Cup, and many more. Leslie Burr Howard was truly heroic, with hard work and talent she was able to become an amazing rider who is an inspiration to those working towards their dreams.

My untouchable hero, Leslie Burr Howard, and my personal hero, my sister Aria, are alike because they are both hard workers. My sister, Aria, works very hard in school and has been able to tackle some very difficult courses. She is taking AP(college level) biology this year and AP chemistry next year. This is because she is working hard to be able to get into a good college and medical school. She is striving to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Leslie Burr Howard worked hard to achieve her goal of becoming a horseback rider. She would ride constantly, always finding new ways to improve. It is because of this hard work that she was able to become such a successful rider. Aria and Leslie Burr Howard are both heroes because they both have worked hard to achieve their goals and pursue their passions.

Both Aria and Leslie Burr Howard have fulfilled my definition of a hero in different ways. Aria has inspired me in school. I often turn to her for advice on what courses to take in high school and she has told me some of her great study techniques that have helped me a lot on quizzes. I didn't realize how much Aria had rubbed off on me until one day when me and my friend were talking to my friends mom about high school. My friend had said, “Claire’s following in Aria’s footsteps. She's trying to take all the difficult science courses just like her.” At the time I hadn't thought this was because of Aria, but now I realize it is. Aria has made science sound so interesting that science has now become my favorite subject, particularly biology, just like Aria. I am glad to have an older sister that works so hard in school and that can help me become a better student. Leslie Burr Howard has inspired me to become a better rider. When I am older, I want to be able to win many shows just like Leslie. I also want to strive to be the best rider I can be. Even though they have both impacted me in different parts of my life, they both have inspired me through their hard work and dedication to reaching their goals. Leslie Burr Howard is a hero because she works hard to achieve her goals and perseveres through challenges.
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