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10 Rising Hearts: student writes and delivers inspirational speeches

Ava Jensen tells her audience 'Happiness is a Choice'

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — She gives speeches that are so inspirational that she gets thank you notes.

The teen in Sevierville has a way with words. 

"I had a little journal in school and I would just take a page almost every day and I would just write in it and illustrate a little drawing," Ava Jensen said. 

She's been a writer for as long as she can remember. Then about a year ago Ava Jensen needed to select a class to supplement her home school education. She chose a speech class.

"I did my first speech which was my introduction ice breaker speech. And it just went from there. I used the skills I developed writing stories and I began to learn how to write more of a script," she said. 

Credit: WBIR
Ava Jensen discusses writing speeches with WBIR Reporter Emily Stroud

She writes speeches about what she's passionate about. 

One speech was inspired by something her parents taught her. 

"You can't just wait for everything to be perfect to be happy. You have to learn to be happy with where you are. You have to learn to create happiness and pick out the good things from the bad," she said. 

Credit: Amanda Jensen
Ava Jensen presents her speech called 'Happiness is a Choice'

The speech she wrote and presented is called Happiness is a Choice.

It's a message that can make a difference.

The 13-year-old gave the speech to her youth group and the Boys and Girls Club. Then she won best speaker at an exhibition for the Toastmasters.

"Toastmasters is a group dedicated to public speaking. And they did a teen event where they allowed my class to come in and speak in front of the adult Toastmasters. So that was a nice experience," she said. 

Ava Jensen hopes to deliver her speech to the Tennessee State Legislature and the Governor later this month. 

She's not sure what will happen next.

"I definitely hope that I can make this into something. I don't know what it will be but something," she said. 

Happiness is a choice. So what do you choose?

Do you know a student who reaches beyond their schools and families to help make our community better? To nominate them, please send an email describing them and their community service to 10Hearts@wbir.com.

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