A Beautiful Mind

beautifulMind“THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE brave enough to make the journey,” commented Miriam Muscarella in her Paducah Tilghman High School valedictory speech in May of 2007. She knows of what she speaks.

Miriam’s journey has taken her all over the United States and abroad. And the journeys haven’t only been geographical. By way of her many destinations, she has reached the pinnacle of academic height (many times over). She has presided over national YMCA affairs, she has made her voice heard in ancient cathedrals, she has amassed record numbers of service hours on behalf of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, she has worked out with the US Naval Academy, she has been honored as a most outstanding citizen by the American Legion Auxiliary, she has a degree of honor from the National Forensic League, she has been president of the Senate of the Kentucky Youth Assembly, she has met President George Bush, she has driven an Alaskan dog sled, and she has successfully lobbied the House and Senate of Kentucky for an HIV confidentiality bill (House Bill 82).

The journey continues. Miriam has been accepted into the freshman class at Harvard (recently ranked as the nation’s number one most difficult school at which to be accepted). But she won’t be stopping at Cambridge. Rather, she’ll be spending her first year in Geneva, Switzerland, where she will study intensive French and calculus. While in Geneva, she will also have the opportunity to volunteer with the United Nations and the International Red Cross as well as fulfill her goal of arranging and recording a cappella music.

During her 2007 commencement address Miriam recalled being made “Disney royalty” during a visit at age four when she pulled the proverbial sword from the stone. “My realm was about a dozen people who saw me pull out the sword. And 30 minutes later, another Queen Guinevere was named the ‘new’ ruler. That day I thought the award was what mattered.”

At the conclusion of her commencement address, Miriam noted: “Somewhere between my 30-minute dictatorship at Disney and today, I realized the emptiness of a mere title. It isn’t the award or recognition but the journey that matters. The future belongs to those brave enough to make the journey.”