How many times in life have we had BIG dreams? How many times have we believed they could be more than dreams, actually become reality? Dreams only come true in fairy tales, right? Recently I have been inspired to follow my dream again by 19 year-old Zack Kopplin. He is a sophomore at Rice University and science education activist that campaigns to keep teaching of creationism out of schools, end and/or block school voucher programs and also supports separation of church and state issues.1 It all began as his senior project at Baton Rouge Magnet High School to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act and now his team of supporters to repeal LSEA includes: 78 Nobel laureates, the over 10 million scientists that are members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New Orleans City Council, endorsements from the Clergy Letter Project and has laymen support from nearly 75,000 (at the time this was written) people that have signed his petition at change.org. Let me say again he is 19! My goal at university when I was 19 only concerned devising a class schedule that avoided early morning classes and in that I was relatively successful, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree with only one 8am class!!
When I was young, I was often told with my outgoing personality I would become a preacher or a politician. The becoming a preacher part had a path I could follow and led me to Duke University, but being a minister required more “faith” than I could muster. The path to becoming a politician required dreaming. Having lost my faith and scared to chase dreams, I took a much safer path. Now I am beginning to be inspired to try making more effort to write. Yes, I have a huge obstacle – Multiple Sclerosis. But Since I can write at my leisure and when I “feel” up to it, my MS should not be an excuse to at least make more of a commitment to TRY! A 19 year-old building a team of supporters like Zack has while based in a creationism hotbed known as Louisiana and knowing that Louisiana politicians have a history for being a haven for honorable politicians (that is intended to be sarcastic) I feel he has an even bigger obstacle than I do with MS.
Zach has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, Moyers and Company with Bill Moyers, MSNBC, HuffPost Live, he has presented a TEDTalks as a guest speaker for TEDx at LSU (video link below), and numerous other media outlets. He also won The Troublemaker Award for 2012 (link below). On Real time with Bill Maher, Zack put Wall Street Journal editorial board member and senior economics writer Stephen Moore in his place when Moore tried to tell Zack what his generations priority should be (video link below). How Stephen Moore did not lose all of his credibility after that appearance is a wonder to me!
Like Zach has had to find his way and is still fighting his fight, I am sure his success, so far, is the result of HARD work and dedication. I need to capture at least a little creativeness, apply a little work and some effort and even I may see some results. So I hope to make more effort posting and I also support an hope that Zack can accomplish his dreams since he does have a great start! Zack’s dreams are not selfish but on his path I hope he is encouraged by the fact he is inspiring others (including me) just for trying. Best of luck Zack as you pursue your dreams!
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