Hometown Heroes: Grandma’s Past Hits Home and Draws Inspiration

This series of stories were written by high school students from Joe Pellerito’s Advanced Teen Leadership Class at East Kentwood High School. They wrote about the heroes in their lives. Stories  were written especially for now.wktv.com. Look for their stories in the weeks to come!

Hometown HeroesEverybody has heard of the drunk driving stories, but this one really hits home for me. I asked my grandma a memory that explains who you are and this is what she said:


“One memory that explains who I am is my back injury. I was in the front seat of my friend’s car. This is back when seat-belts weren’t required. We were coming home from our other friend’s house and we got hit by a drunk driver. I flew through the windshield and hit a telephone pole. I woke up in the hospital not knowing anything besides my life is going to change. I was in the hospital for 3 months. I ended up breaking my back which resulted in a back brace for two and a half years. I also had the most severe concussion and am lucky to have not been cognitively impaired. I thank God everyday.”


She is one of the strongest people I know. Her life has been a constant battle. From being a child of an abusive parent, to the back injury, to going through a tough marriage and divorce, she wears the sweetest smile every single day.


My grandma is 83 years old and still walking, still active, I look up to her so much. I asked her what she is most grateful for and she responded, “I’m grateful for my life. I never understood how precious life is until I almost lost it. But I am MOST grateful for my grandchildren. They bring me so much joy and I love watching them grow up and I’m blessed to be here and see all of their accomplishments.”


That explains my grandma so perfectly. She has the biggest heart and she is my #1 fan for everything. After all of my golf tournaments she makes sure to call to tell me she was praying for me, and that she is proud of me no matter how I place.


I wanted to interview my grandma because I aspire to be like her. I could recap endless stories and memories about her. I hope to make an impact on other people like she did for me.

Joe Pellerito's Advanced Teen Leadership class on Spirit Day at East Kentwood
Joe Pellerito’s Advanced Teen Leadership class on Spirit Day at East Kentwood