When I think about all that the Frank Ski Kids Foundation has done for me, I don’t know where to begin. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that I’d get the once in a lifetime chance to visit the Galapagos Islands. During my stay in the islands, I was able to swim with sharks, try new and exotic foods, and make lifelong friendships. Going on this magnificent excursion to the Galapagos Islands has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and to not be intimidated by things that may seem unusual to me. I am so thankful that Mr. Frank takes the time to think about the children of Atlanta because he’s opened up endless doors for me! Thank you so much!
Parents tell us we can be whatever we want if we put our minds to it. They tell us if we just work hard and stay focused, we’ll succeed. Parents just do what they can to make us the best we can be. This summer I was one of the 10 winners of the week long trip to the Galapagos Islands with the Frank Ski Kids Foundation. I swam with sea lions and sharks, climbed the second highest mountain in Santa Cruz, and experienced a world I didn’t even know existed. I learned more about myself in that one week than I could have in a year. Thanks to the foundation I became more in touch with myself. I broke out of my comfort zone and am now doing things I never would have done before, from running for and winning homecoming to starting my own foundation. The Frank Ski Kids Foundation exposed me to a life I may never see again, but a life I will always remember. Due to my journey with the Frank Ski Kids Foundation, I now understand what my parents have told me all along. Once again I would like to thank the Frank Ski Kids Foundation for this life changing experience.
My trip to the Galapagos was a truly eye opening adventure that I will never forget. On the trip I had the opportunity to do things I have never done before like riding in a plane, boat, train, or bus. It was my first time ever leaving Georgia! All of the activity’s we did and all the places we traveled to help me mature as a person. We swam with sea lions, ventured into lava tunnels, and feed baby tortoises. My greatest achievement on the trip was making it to the top this mountain that was inside a cloud. I like to use that for an analogy of success because it took both physical and mental power to be able to make it to the top and is so far the greatest accomplishment I have made in my 15 years of living. The trip also helped drive my passion for herpetology, which is what I want to major in. Being able to see all those indigenous reptiles that many people have never seen has already put me above most Herpetologists. Also being able to visit lonesome Georges exhibit was my first thought before even getting on the plane and they made that dream come true. I also received a better perspective of the world outside of Atlanta. If you visit Quito you will understand just how lucky you are to live America. I am also extremely thankful for the things I got to do after. I was able to speak on live radio to millions, aired on TV, able to attend a celebrity auction, and honored by my superintendent. I can’t even thank them enough for all the memories and experiences that will help me with my goal of attending Yale and receiving a PhD in Biology.
“I am Norman Hayes, a graduating senior at Tucker High School. I am also a proud TuckerFootball League Alumnus, a Frank Ski Youth Bowl III participant, and the 2010 Frank SkiStudent Leader of the Year. I am happy to tell you how being a participant in Frank Ski KidsFoundation activities has impacted my life and the choices I’ve made for me future.
I have always loved football and have always dreamed of playing football at the collegiatelevel. I knew I’d have to work hard in the classroom and on the football field long before Igot to high school to make my dream of playing football in college a reality. Academically,my parents instilled in me very early that doing well academically was the ticket to any dreamI had. So, I’ve worked hard to be a good student, taken the most rigorous classes available,and even looked for extra educational activities. I am a 4.0+ student in Tucker’s InternationalBaccalaureate Programme. This program is an academic program that challenges students inwriting, critical thinking, and communication. I was recently named a Tucker High School Classof 2011 Honor Class-Top Ten percent student. I have also received several other academichonors and recognitions during my four years at Tucker High School. They include Principal’sA Honor Roll; THS Presidential Scholar award, Georgia Merit Scholar award; Yale Book Clubaward; and Silver SAT Club award. In addition, I have received several scholar-athlete awardsto include the 2010 Great American Rivalry Series Scholar-Athlete Award; 3 consecutive (oneeach year) THS Football Team Highest Class Average awards, and the DeKalb County CoachesAssociation Scholar Athlete Award. I have been recognized as a Wendy’s High School HeismanSchool Winner and Vince Dooley Award recipient. I am a member of the National Beta Club,the National Society for High School Scholars, and the National Honor Society. I am alsoa member of the THS Habitat for Humanity Club, Antioch A.M.E. Church, and YoungLifeChristian Fellowship ministry. I also serve as Executive Board member of Livvy’s Love, Inc.,a non-profit children’s assistance fund my family established in memory of my sister Olivia Hayes.
As I mentioned earlier, I knew that making my dreams for playing football come true metthat I’d also have to challenge myself to become the very best athlete I could become. I knewthat meant playing with the best. So, I joined the Tucker Football League. We had the honorof being invited to participate in the Frank Ski Kids Foundation Youth Bowl series-III. TheYouth Bowl experience was great because 1) the invitation to participate was a very covetedinvite. Teams from across the Atlanta-metro area played hard all season for the opportunity and2) the support that Frank Ski, his foundation, and the community gave us was unbelievable. TheFoundation followed us from little league and into high school. We were invited twice to joinFrank Ski on his morning show while we were in high school. That he cared enough about whowe were while we participated in his bowl series and even as we grew into to young men says alot about him and his Foundation. This support is the kind of motivation that encourages you tokeep pushing and trying even when classes, athletics, and other pressures of growing up stress you out.
I am one of 1600 students recently admitted to Harvard University, Class of 2015. Nearly35,000 students from around the world applied for entry into this class. I will play footballat Harvard. Although I am undecided about a specific major, I know it will be in one of thesciences. I am ultimately interested in a career in either clinical research or medicine.
I am extremely grateful to God for the many people who’ve provided me guidance andsupport throughout the years to include my family, friends, coaches, community, and Frank Skiand the Frank Ski Kids Foundation. My goal in life is to do well so that I can do as those beforeme have, that is, give back and help those behind me.”
Dominique Knock– Amazon 2007
“My name is Dominique Nock I’m 17 years old and when I was 13 I was blessed with the most unforgettable opportunity of my life. I won a trip To the AMAZON RAINFOREST in Brazil. I never imagined myself traveling to such a beautiful, joyous, tranquil place . Although its been almost 4 years ago sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday I was in the amazon piranha fishing down the Rio Negro and swimming with wild pink dolphins! The Amazon has truly had a tremendous impact on my life. While in the amazon I found myself. My acknowledgment of Gods beautiful creation allowed me to develop an extremely strong relationship with Christ. Growing up my parents always said “you can do anything your mind and heart desires” I’ve always listened to them but being in the Amazon made me believe it!! Since my trip to the amazon My entire outlook on life changed. I’m founder and president of Spalding High schools go green club. My school now has recycling bins in the cafeteria. I also managed to convince my parents to convertall of our household bulbs to more energy sufficient bulbs. Because of the Amazon I’m ambitious. Because of the amazon my voice feels big, being in the amazon made me believe that my voice can make a difference.
The protection of nature is important to me. The protection of the AMAZON RAINFOREST is extremely important to me and I’m not afraid to speak out on what’s right and what I beleive. I plan to major in aviation and public speaking and expand my running carrer. Protecting our rain forests,Becoming a professional runner and eventually an Olympian is what my heart desires. The exposure to such an amazing opportunity molded me! molded me to have faith, molded me to believe in myself, to be fearless and to be ambitious. There is nothing I can’t do, and there is no dream or goal I cannot accomplish. I’d like to give a very special thanks to each and every sponsor and individual that made the trip possible. Its truly an unforgettable experience. I’d give anything to travel to the amazon again”