Grateful & blessed: Teens & 20s writers share what they’re thankful for

Times-News correspondents

Metro Creative Graphics

Thanksgiving is Thursday so the Teens & 20s writers took time to jot down just a few of the things that they’re thankful for:
I am thankful for my loving family, my amazing friends and the life that I have chosen to live. — Alley Morris, eighth-grade home-schooler
I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to participate in community theater, and that I got to do it with my family and friends. — Jordan Carey, sophomore high school home-schooler
      I am thankful for surprises in life. In February of this year, I got what I have always wanted the most. After almost sixteen years as an only child, my baby brother was born and has made my life so much better. I am so thankful I get to spend his first Thanksgiving with him this year. — Jakob Miller, junior at Southern Alamance High School
I’m thankful for my parents, my friends, and my brother. I’m thankful for my life itself, and for being born. I’m thankful for art and the community around it. I’m also thankful for Netflix and hot tea. — Nancy Drago, sophomore at Chapel Hill High School
   I am thankful for the all the new friends and people that I’ve met this year, as well as my family who always supports me. I am also thankful for my newfound hobby in theater and the opportunity to be in Alamance Children’s Theatre shows “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” I’m just thankful that it’s been a pretty great year for me so far and the growth I’ve made as a person! — Hollyann Gardner, home-schooled high school sophomore
What I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving is my cousin, Elspeth. Out of the seven cousins in our family she’s the closest to me in age, though she grew up an entire ocean away. This summer she came to live with us, and since then we’ve spent most of our time together. Growing up as a home-schooled only child, can be a bit lonesome, and going through the transition of getting ready for college even more so. I’m grateful for Ellie’s company and friendship. — Chandler Holland, home-schooled high school graduate
I’m thankful for the ‘little’ things that make life rich — my family and church, sunshine and fresh air, God’s love to me in Christ. — Lydia Pankratz, home-schooled high school senior
I am thankful to be an American. I am thankful for what is left of American self government. I am thankful most of all for the Bible and salvation through faith alone in Christ alone. — Andrew Pankratz, home-schooled high school sophomore
I am thankful for a supportive community that has allowed me to prosper as a student both in and out of the classroom. — Shiv Patel, senior at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham
I am most thankful for freedom of physical expression and art. As a pre-professional dancer, the ability to control the movements of my limbs and muscles is priceless. To me, movement is like oxygen — a gift that is sometimes taken for granted but a gift that I can’t live without. I won’t be able to dance forever. That’s why I’m thankful that I can take the time to savor every step, spin, and leap while I still have the chance. — Logan A. White, home-schooled senior
I’m thankful for all the times this year I’ve laughed so hard it hurts. I’m thankful for a family who loves me and for Mom’s home-cooked meals. I’m thankful for freedom to speak my mind, to write, to worship, to live in America. I’m thankful for the price that was paid for those freedoms and for those who paid that price. I’m thankful that Chick-fil-A does breakfast and that Cook Out is open until 3 a.m. I’m thankful for pen and ink in endless supply. I’m thankful for a church that is a safe place and a God who is safer still. I’m thankful for another breath of life, every second of every new day. Today, I’m thankful for all the small and huge and immeasurable things I seem to take for granted on every other day of the year. — Olivia Knight, sophomore at Alamance Community College
I am thankful for my parents, as they never cease to support my ever-changing life decisions, and constantly encourage me to follow my passion in choosing a career. My parents have, through their actions, taught me how to love. They have provided me with more than enough emotional support throughout my lifetime, and I will forever be grateful for the sacrifices that they have made to raise my sisters and I. — Kaitlyn Parham, senior at Burlington Christian Academy
This Thanksgiving is my first Thanksgiving since arriving in America. I am thankful for my family — on both sides of the Atlantic. My family back home has been incredibly supportive of my move to America, and my family here has been incredible, too. Thank you for everything you’ve done, and everything you have yet to do. I couldn’t have done it without you. — Elspeth Macnab-Stark, a high school graduate
My healthy body and the ability to play volleyball. The freedom to be able to live my life to its fullest. A working mind to learn, memorize and think. Most importantly my amazing family, the time we spend together and the security in knowing we always have each others’ back. — Evalyn Budrick, seventh-grade home-schooler
As Thanksgiving is coming up, I am thankful for many things. My family is one of the most important things I am thankful for. They are always there for me and support me no matter what. They help me through all the tough times and have shaped me into the person I am today. The next thing I am thankful for is my dogs. My four dogs are the cutest things to ever exist and I love to play with them. I get so excited to see them when I get home from school. Another thing I am thankful for are my best friends. They have been there for me since day one and they’re my main support system. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me because they always know how to make me smile and laugh even when I am down. I am thankful for many things in my life but these few were some of the most important ones to me. — Presley Mauney, sophomore at Western Alamance High School
Sausage balls, shelter, food, water and a good family. Did I mention sausage balls? — Gable Pierce, seventh-grader, Northeast Middle School, McLeansville
God, family, food and basketball. — Bret Pierce, sophomore, Page High School, Greensboro

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