In light of Time Magazine releasing their Top 100 Most Influential People of the last year, I figured I would reflect on the most influential people in my life up to this point.
5. Tom Brady
Although I have never met Tom Brady personally, he has impacted my life in an enormous way. At a time in early middle school when I didn’t have too many friends and really didn’t have an identity, I turned to football. The success and team first mentality of the Patriots instantly gave me something to latch onto and be proud of. Led by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady, the Patriots provided me with much joy and much pain over the years, but gave me an identity. It wasn’t just about football, it was about a way of life. I followed their values of hard work, one day at a time, let your performance do the talking, and team first approach in my daily life. I strived to live the “Patriot Way”, and it will always be a part of me until the day I die.
4. Alan Koufos, former Scoutmaster of Troop 44 Mendon
When I originally joined Boy Scouts, I hated it. I hated it so much so that I quit after about a year. Shortly after that, I was informed that a brand new troop was being formed in my town. I decided to give it a try. Although still not loving it at first, I decided to stick in the troop, and one of the main reasons was because of my scoutmaster. Mr. Koufos has always been one of the best leaders I know and someone I looked up to. He was always very good at staying calm no matter what, and giving attention to each and every scout. He was very encouraging, and had a good sense of humor as well. He always had faith in me to achieve Eagle Scout, even when I thought I couldn’t. I learned so many valuable lessons in scouts, went on many fun adventures, and met great friends. Eagle Scout has also been in integral part of me not only getting into college, but in obtaining an internship as well.
3. Bill Hodgeman, former Youth Pastor at Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church
Throughout my middle school and high school days, Pastor Bill has been a key part in my spiritual journey. He rejuvenated a youth group that made me look forward to sunday nights again. He had an incredible love and passion for each and every individual, and poured his heart out into the community. He was someone who you could sit down and have a one on one conversation about anything. He brought life into the church with his positive attitude, his love for the church and community, and his sense of humor that could make anyone smile. He not only gave attention to each and every member of the church, but made the effort to reach out to non believers as well and make them feel welcome. I have no doubt that Pastor Bill will continue to change people’s lives in his new community.
I am extremely fortunate to have made some of the best friends I could have ever asked for. I had several good friends in high school, but three in particular were really good friends. Jan, Ben, Matt, and I have had many great memories over the years, and I hope to still stay in touch with them from here on out. I don’t know what I would’ve done without these guys. I have also made some good friends in college. Tommy and Joe were two of the first people I met freshman year, and Steve, Dan, and Tyler are currently the suitemates I live with now. Great times with all of these guys. I can’t mention everyone of course, but there are many others out there from InterVarsity to Dunkin Donuts to Scouts and beyond. Definitely some of the best moments of my life have been with my friends and I am truly grateful for them.
Without a doubt my parents have had the biggest impact on my life. They have been there to support through the good times and the bad times no matter what. My friendship with my two brothers is something no one else in the world can ever understand. All of my extended family on both sides have always been very kind and supportive of me as well. I will forever be thankful for my family and relatives because I don’t know what I would do without them.
Of course, there are many other influences that I could mention, teachers and professors just being one example. Everyone in my life has influenced me in one way or another and I look forward to meeting more positive influences from here on out.
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