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By Joanna Carroll

Oconee County Schools K-12

"My square is about how everyone's hand is different in life. Some hands are better than others. The playing cards (on the inside of the square) represent different hands. Resilience is taking the hand you're given and making the most of it no matter the struggles. The ribbon represents my younger sister and the birth defect she has, and the spoon represents my older sister's chronic condition. "Resilience is like climbing a mountain with no trail map. It takes time, strength, and help from people around you, and you'll likely experience setbacks along the way. Eventually you will reach the top and look back at how far you've come." - Katie Hurley I burned the word FAMILY into all sides of the square. Family plays a major role in resilience. My older sister began having health problems her senior year so severe that she missed half the spring semester. Even with missing a lot of classes, she graduated in the top 5 of her class. Now she is in college and is doing extremely well. My younger sister has a birth defect and numerous health problems. She has spent her whole life in a wheelchair, and yet she is the happiest and most joyful person I know. Yes she has challenges, but she chooses to persevere and keep going. Neither sister lets their health issues define them. Their ability to press on no matter what, influences me. If they can do it, then I can. We all push each other, and that is how we succeed. "