#6. November 28th, 2012: Jamal Edwards

If you’re looking for someone to make you smile, then you might want to meet Jamal. He’s currently a freshman at Duke University, spreading his happiness and warmth to everyone he meets. Jamal and I met years ago at a leadership conference held in Santa Barbara, CA, and I can honestly say that from the minute I met him, I knew I had a found someone special. He is a role model to many, putting forth hard work and dedication with everything he does. Oh, and his smile?! Oh my… You honestly cannot look at this kid’s smile and not break into one yourself. Anyway, when I called him today, he freaked out a bit and it was awesome :) He was so kind and said that I made his day! Jamal, you have such a joyful soul and your overall persona is just bubbly and fun. I still remember the crazy encounter we had! So I had not seen Jamal in over a year when my high school’s ASB (Student Government) class (CCA what, what!?) went to a leadership day conference at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. There were a bunch of stellar CASL leaders running the conference and they were almost all students from all over the state. At the end of one of the sessions, some kid gets up on stage and says that “lunch will be served over in that corner…” I suddenly said to myself, “That’s Jamal!” and I started wading through the crowd to get to him! I got over to him and there was this woman talking to him so I had to wait like a school girl waiting to meet a celebrity (which he is). After a minute or so, he goes, “Wait, are you Brian?” and I am like, “YES! Are you JAMAL?” and we gave each other a big hug and talked and talked! Last year I skyped Jamal as I walked around my campus here in DC when he was still waiting to hear from schools! Like I said, he’s now at Duke and loving it!!! Jamal, you seriously are an amazing individual and the world does need more people like YOU. You’ve made such an impact in my life and are a big part of who I am today. The smileys, the happiness; a lot of that comes from just knowing you. :) For all of that, Jamal, I thank you :)

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