“First semester of senior year [in high school] I had this dream. I had been going through a lot of emotional things … but I had this dream that everyone in my life who mattered to me had told me, ‘You could have helped us. You could have done something. But you didn’t.’ I have a little brother who’s highly autistic, not very high functioning; he can’t speak. So he couldn’t speak in the dream, obviously. All I saw in the dream was him looking at me. He was my motivation.
“After I woke up, I just had to take my life seriously. I knew God had a plan for me and I had to find it; I had to let Him use me in some way. My relationship with God was in a place where I had a lot of questions. But at that moment I knew God was talking with me. Some questions were answered. It doesn’t matter how many questions you have or how many things are going on, you’re going to get through it. You just have to let yourself be used [by Him]. No matter what I’m doing. I don’t know exactly the plan, I can’t give you a deadline, but I’m jumping into a lot of things as long as I can. We have a short time and a lot of people are counting on me. I think if you have so much influence towards people around you and you have the chance to do big things, you should.”
Mike Ayala is a sophomore studying business administration