My Living Heroes

  1. My mom (Nicole Dawson) - The person who knows me best. Whenever I need to talk to someone about what’s going through my head, she is always there for me. She has stood by me through the most challenging times in my life, which I will always be grateful for.
  2. My dad (Tim Dawson) - One of the hardest-working and most determined people I know. Full of advice. He has taught me many important life lessons over the years.
  3. Greta Thunberg - I greatly admire her willingness to speak out against harmful environmental policies, and the fact that she doesn’t let her young age get in the way of her cause. She is a force of nature for nature.
  4. Yuval Noah Harari - The brilliant author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. His books have given me new insight into why humans behave the way they do, whether on an individual or on a societal level.
  5. Melissa Gaffney - My 6th grade language arts/social studies teacher. She paid such close attention to the needs, personalities, and learning styles of every single student in her class, and surprised us all at the end of the year by making us personalized acrostic bookmarks! She’s an example of how one person can make a lasting impact on a child.
  6. Jan Sayers - One of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She was my English teacher for the first 6 weeks of my freshman year of MIHS, and I learned more in those 6 weeks than I did the rest of that year. She is wise and full of spunk and truly dedicated to her students.
  7. Miles Forster aka Selpa’i - Possibly the greatest wordsmith of the Lojban language (a constructed language that I’ve been learning). He’s the father of Lojban rap, with lyrics that resonate deeply with me. I admire his talent.
  8. Brandi Carlile - one of my favorite musicians; she is a singer/songwriter from Seattle who has influenced my personal songwriting style. Her songs are true and meaningful. She embodies one of my core values of authenticity.
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