Dear Sam,

You’re headed off to middle school next year. That’s going to be a big change in your life. But change isn’t always bad. Wherever you go and whatever you do, remember this.

Remember to be yourself. Be free to express yourself and pursue your interests. Have patience to pursue what you love. Patience to improve what you love. Be open to new experiences and have fun. Remember to be focused and determined in your studies. Hard work and dedication will pay off.

Although you’ll face some challenges, know that you are ready for them. Know that you have help along the way. Listen to your mentors. Those around you. Those you love. You have support along the way. Be open and include those around you. Community is important.

You will grow into a very successful young man. And one day those dreams will come true. You’ll see.

But remember that you’re not alone.