Dear Christopher Milo,

Ever since you came to my school, my life has completely changed. But in order for you to understand the impact, I should start by telling you a little about myself.

My name is Meredith, and I’m a freshman at Poland Seminary High School. I’m aiming to be a Valedictorian and I have a long term goal to one day play piano at Carnegie and/or travel as a musician around the world. I want to inspire people in the way that you’ve inspired me and the entire rest of my school. I’ve been playing piano since I was 2 years old. (That’s twelve years, and counting, if you’re wondering exactly how long.) I’ve moved from Pennsylvania to Nashville, TN, and back up north to Ohio in my life. I feel so fortunate to have had many good teachers who gave way to my chosen career path, (or at least “hobby path,” depending on the way things turn out). Along with piano I play alto, tenor, and bari sax, guitar, I’m learning the trumpet, and I take my friends’ instruments home on weekends. As for school activities, I’m in numerous clubs and sports like debate, track, marching band, and English Festival that I could ramble on all day about.
As you can probably tell, these activities occupy most of the time I would otherwise spend at home or with friends. In fact, during October, I noticed that I was slowly detaching from my family because of them. The atmosphere in my house was very irritable and my mom was always yelling about this or that, and everyone was stressed out all the time for seemingly no reason at all. I had less enthusiasm about my work, even though I would spend more time at them as a sort of distraction. Things got worse progressively until my sister, who was struggling with ADD, attempted suicide twice, with influence from the large dosages of medication she had been taking for it at the time. With all the pressure, I fell into an almost depressive state. I wanted to be there for my sister, but with all these activities and my schoolwork, I couldn’t make ends meet.

Fortunately, that October/November timeline of events was right around the time that you visited our school. I was amazed by your story, and I felt immediately reconnected to music, to my family, and to the people around me. I knew that one day, I wanted to use my god-given talents to carry out the messages you’re working hard to spread with YOUR talents. Our entire school seems to have embraced your work, which I thought was nearly impossible in a public school. Also, I knew that your arrival wasn’t a coincidence as to the messages and what was going on in my life. It was incredible.

I went home that day and I knew that things would be different, that I could make it better. Since then, the mood has lightened in my entire family. My sister and I get along better than ever, and I don’t know what I would do without her. But it doesn’t stop there. My grades improved even more so than they had been, and I feel like I have so much more dedication for the work I do. I’ve even messed with writing some music here and there, and I’m working on a piece for an English Festival contest. But what tops everything off is that I’ve finished a 13 page piano concerto that I’ll be playing for a special audience at YSU this February. (If you’d like to come watch me and others perform, I can send you the details.) I can not thank you enough for the strength you’ve given me to make all of this happen. Happy New Year, and good luck to you!