He Kept the Hope Alive in Me

My name is Megan, and I am 18 years old. I bought my Giving Key only six or so months ago. I was inspired by the story and message behind it, and I wanted a chance to pay it forward. I bought a brass key on a thin chain with the word "HOPE" stamped on to it. It was more of an impulse buy; I had always wanted a necklace, but that day I just decided to go for it. I wore my key all the time. All through winter it was hidden under scarves or sitting on top of sweaters. No one really asked about it. They just thought it was a cool necklace, I guess. Well, my senior year of high school was drawing to a close. Throughout the year, I had held on to the key, always saying I was going to wait until college to give it to someone. But on the last day of school, my feelings changed. I was sitting in my Student Assistant Counselor's office. I had known Mr. Waitt for nearly three years, and he always managed to put a smile on my face, even on my worst days. Everyone he talked to loved him. His office was a safe haven in my giant high school, and he always lent a sympathetic ear. He was always there for me, and I knew he was a great man. On the last day of school, I went to his office to say my goodbye to him. I wanted to know how much he had helped me, but I wan't sure how to say it. I was wearing my giving key that day, and suddenly I knew what to do. I gave Mr. Waitt my key because he was the first person to give me hope. I was going through a really rough time, and he was the first person to tell me it was going to get better. He helped me see the light and find my way. He kept that hope alive for me all through high school, as he did with so many other students. I knew he would appreciate it. He hung the key on his office bulletin board so that everyone could see. I knew as soon as I gave it to him I made the right choice.