By Lauren Hoppa
Distinguished Young Woman of Colorado for 2012

“I don’t know where it is you find courage. There isn’t a map. It sort of follows the road of emotion. Sometimes stopping your conviction in anger, other times parking beside fear. Courage plays no favorites, takes no sides. It can be impressive as a walk on Venus or as simple as kiss. And sometimes in our darkest hours, courage is all we have.” — Unknown
We hear it so repetitively. “Do something good. Have courage to step out and make a difference.” But what does that really mean? How can I be courageous? How can I catch courage? Many of us perform acts of courage everyday. However, we are just unaware of these small victories. Did you wake up this morning and get out of bed, ready for the day? Well, there’s courage right there! Being ready to tackle the day that is before you with whatever obstacle you may face. Sometimes, it’s not always about looking at the puzzle as a whole. Sometimes, it’s about the little pieces, even if there are some jagged edges that don’t seem to work. It is about having the ability to overcome and see past these obstacles. Every time to put a smile on your face and give it your best effort. Maybe you don’t get your dance routine right the first time. Maybe you miss the net for a game winning soccer goal. Maybe you don’t get the grade you were hoping for on a test. You can reminisce over these downers. Or, you can to find that little spark of encouragement deep within you telling you to get back on your feet and try one more time. This is courage. One little step. Knowing that we are capable of accomplishing our dreams. We all have courage. Sometimes, it is just becoming aware of the courage we already have and blossoming from that.
Be yourself
Be courageous
Be distinguished
Much love,
Lauren Hoppa is a college freshman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma majoring in Athletic Training. Originally from Parker, Colorado, Lauren was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Colorado for 2012. Learn more about Lauren here!

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