One thing that makes Martin special to me is his desire to learn.  He has little – a hovel for a house, no parents, and no means with which to get himself out of a horrible situation. But, he knows that education can get him out of that hovel and that if he studies hard and does well, he can continue on to college and to a good job one day. When I first met Martin, it was 7 years ago and I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  He looked at me blankly,not able to comprehend that one day, with the right medicine and good food, he’d make it to adulthood.  He’d seen his parents die of a virus that was in his own body and he assumed he’d meet the same fate.

Now, ask him what he wants to be and Martin will look at you in the eyes, he will smile a little smile and will say “a pilot”.  It’s so neat to look at him while he makes his pronouncement because he is determined and serious.  I know he will do it – he’ll be a pilot one day.  Why?  Because thanks to so many (YOU included), Martin is going to school, he is eating well, he is taking his medicine daily, and he is dreaming big.

So, I hope that one day, when you are flying to some amazing part of the world, you’ll see the flight crew boarding the plane before you and you’ll look at the handsome pilot’s name tag and that it will say MARTIN on it.  When you do, do me a favor.  Smile a little smile, look at him in the eyes and tell him “I knew you could do it”.