Joshua Painter, a telecommunications student on Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus, wrote an essay in Spring 2011 about one of his core beliefs, which has gained quite a bit of attention. His essay, “The Strongest Belief is Found in Yourself,” was selected to be featured on the “This I Believe” web site and National Public Radio. “This I Believe” is an organization that is based on the Edward R. Murrow radio series of the 1950s, which engages people in a public dialogue about their core beliefs.
“I was inspired to use this assignment because I heard essayists read their beliefs on an NPR series of the same name,” said adjunct English Professor Linda Kimball, who assigns the essay in one of the courses she teaches, as well as another of her colleagues, Pat McCurdy. “In this course we focus on how to develop a thesis within an essay, and the "This I Believe" essay assignment works well. In the five years that I have been using this assignment, Joshua Painter is the first student I have taught who submitted his essay. I think it was published because Joshua's writing is honest and inspirational.”
“Never give up on yourself and believe you can achieve anything. This is truly what makes life such an invigorating experience,” reads Painter’s essay, which describes the similarities between his returning to college at the age of 32, and Mike Flynt, a man who returned to college at the age of 59; both because of the belief they had in themselves. “I hope by reading my essay people realize that with a strong inner-belief about themselves, they can reach any of their life’s goals. My inspiration behind the essay was feeling how much the Mike Flynt story inspired me. I found it to be a great gift, and I wanted to share this gift by maybe inspiring someone else…In writing this essay I got to contact Mike Flynt and actually received his blessing to write the essay.”
Painter has also written for the Cayuga Collegian and was featured on the College’s 97.7 radio station and expects to graduate in Spring 2013 with an associate’s degree in Telecommunications: Audio/Radio Production. His “This I Believe” essay can be read at http://thisibelieve.org/essay/98680/.