Anthony “AJ” Ramsey spoke at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., last month during the National Recognition Week of the Do the Write Thing Challenge program of the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
Ramsey, a student at Pittsburgh St. Elizabeth Catholic School, and Katie Hanchett, of Woodland Hills Academy, were chosen, from among 2,158 middle school students who submitted writings to the Do the Write Thing Challenge program, as National Ambassadors to represent Pittsburgh in Washington, D.C. The book containing all the writings of the National Ambassadors is annually inducted into the Library of Congress during this special week.
For Ramsey to be chosen as one of four students to speak at the Library of Congress just compounds the honor and he did a wonderful job just as he did in order to rise to the top among the largest number of students who have ever entered writings in the 7 years of the program in Pittsburgh. At the Library of Congress, Ramsey read his essay which spoke of his personal experience with violence when his aunt was killed during a home invasion.
His essay suggested that “kids need to be taught, at a young age, to respect people and treat each other like they would want to be treated” and finally states, “violence doesn’t solve problems” it “creates more problems.”
Ramsey is no stranger to challenges, he was diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumor when he was 2 years old and named a Make-a-Wish child. He has undergone two brain surgeries, chemo and radiation, and has limited use of his left arm and leg. He still has the tumor, but hasn’t had treatments for 2 years. He plays soccer and doesn’t let his disability hold him back. Ramsey says, “Speaking at the Library of Congress was really cool! It has been an honor and it is really great that I had the opportunity to come down to Washington, D.C. When I get back to Pittsburgh I will tell other kids how important it is to be a leader and not a follower. Good things happen to you when you are a leader.”
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