"As human beings we are never taught how to hope and what to hope for, it is the natural inclination of our minds to desire. I have experienced both the highs and lows of hope and I have learned that hope is the greatest gift that we can give to others. When rainclouds surround us, hope tells us to look to the sky knowing that eventually the sun will shine. Hope has the power to spark and nurture life, to take a single seed and bring forth from the ground a new life. My name is Riley EmiJean Sixta. Ever since I was a little girl my thoughts would run rampant with hopes of the future: being romanced by the love of my life, being the first woman president, getting to travel around the world and finding a lost civilization in need of a queen.
When I was young, I feared being trapped by a hope that would never come true, one that would paralyze me in my mists and leave with no chance of moving on. Those were the hardest years of my life. There was no joy and no future, there was only what was going on then and that was all that there would ever be. But I have learned that it is not in the nature of hope to trap, but rather to allow us to live and grow because we have the chance of reaching our dreams. I hope in the brightness of tomorrow and a love that encourages and evokes true beauty. No matter how small the gesture, when we encourage others to hope it is like breathing new life into lungs desperate for air."