Role Models

Who is your personal hero and why? 

Heroes are a big part of childhood and adult life because of what they provide to the human experience. It is someone to look up to, learn from and most importantly drives people to be a better version of themselves. 

Image of Person holding up Role Model Sign

One common hometown hero that a lot of daughters and sons look up to is their parents. Kelsey Licer, who grew up in Woodstock, Illinois, said:

“My dad is definitely my hero. He makes sure me and my siblings are always provided for and he has given up a lot to do that for us. He also has a career that allowed my mom to stay home and take care of us all throughout my childhood. We also had a lake house due to his income that we made so many memories at and are continuing to do so now that I am in college. I honestly can’t believe that he put up with all my bullshit as a child. If I turned out to be half the father that he is, I would still be an amazing dad.”

Parents are not the only ones that are influential in a child’s life. Teachers from elementary, middle and high school make impressions that last a lifetime. Leah Maher, Minnesota resident and junior at Drake University, said:

 “My fifth grade science teacher is my personal hero. We are still in contact today and she was the first one to show me that I can actually contribute to academia and I am more than just a student completing assignments. I am someone that with my education can change and help the world for the better. Not only that but she really opened up my passion for science and what I am majoring in which is environmental science. Being a woman in STEM isnt easy but when I see other women that are successful, it makes it so much easier to see myself in that position as well.”

Childhood heroes are one thing but adults have heroes too. They could be people that have been on T.V or a professional athlete. Sheridan McArthur, 26 year old from California, said that,

“To be honest, Megan Rapino is my hero. I played soccer my whole life and I have always looked up to the Women’s National Team. When I was younger I looked up to her because of soccer but now I look up to her for her activism and willingness to stand up for what she believes in. This has helped me in some pretty sticky situations with people that have had different views than me these past two years. Overall, I would be bold enough to say that without looking up to Rapino all of these years I would not be the person that I am today.”

As adults however, heroes are harder to find and make time for. Interviewee Kerri Hayes, a teacher and a mother of three, said:

 “I don’t have a personal hero. Maybe I did when I was younger but definitely not anymore. I don’t really have the time to focus on a hero and I am very wishy washy about the whole thing. I don’t have a passion or hobby either. I don’t know, maybe when I retire I’ll find more time to have a hero and a passion but for now I’m not worried about it.”

However, maybe it is the fact that when you have the free time to look up to someone and really admire what they do, you see them as a hero. Judy McKenna, retired 78 year old from Crete Illinois, said: 

 “Honestly, my hero is my husband. He was a blue collar pipefitter and gave my three daughters the best life they could have. We both had a cigarette addiction and he had the power to quit when I still smoke half a pack a day. He has been by my side for over 50 years and loved me every day. For that, he is my hero and the love of my life.” 

Overall, personal heroes can take on a large role in someone’s life or not at all. Some people pull from their personal lives while others look to social media for their heroes. Heroes can mean so many different things for different people and all are valid. 

Published by emyhayes