It may have been a cartoon, but the message of Underdog packed a powerful punch. In real life, we’ve got Underdogs all around us.

Some are famous. Most are not. But they all have one thing in common – Like Shoeshine Boy, motivated by a greater good, they rose to the occasion.

I know a 17 year old who fits that description. Her name is Brieanna. She’s a high school junior; an academic achiever, a volunteer with a local EMS unit. And she is homeless.

Brieanna has lived in a shelter for the past year and a half, but she hasn’t let her circumstances get in the way of her goals or her happiness.  She comes to school every day with a contagious smile and a grateful attitude to go along with it.

Her goal is to become a pediatric nurse – a dream she’s had ever since she was a child and a patient in the hospital. Brieanna said it was the kindness of a nurse who took the time to play games with her that inspired her career choice.

“I want kids to be not only physically better, but happier too. I want to be able to make them smile,” she said.

And that’s her motivation to go to college and to work at a Children’s Hospital.

Next year, Brieanna will take college credit courses while still in high school to get a head start. And when she turns 18, she’ll go to work as an EMT to help pay for her education. She’s determined to make this dream a reality. After all, there are kids out there who will need her.

To be like Underdog, you don’t need to have superhuman power – you just need to have a goal and an unstoppable conviction to rise above the obstacles in your path to achieve it.


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