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Shannen Koostachin was only 13 when she started her fight against the government for her community. This passionate hero changed education for the Native children in Attawapiskat. Koostachin gave this simple message: "I would tell the children not to be afraid, to follow their dreams. I would tell them to never give up hope. Get up, pick up your books, and go to school (just not in portables)."
Teen heroes do exist.
Joan of Arc: hero of France
At seventeen years of age, Joan of Arc led French soldiers into battle. Her goal was to reclaim France's land that had been taken over by the English. She successfully completed her goal taking Saint Loup, Saint Jean le Blanc, Jean d'Orleans, Saint Augustins and les Tourelles. Sadly, she was captured and burned at the age of 19 on May 30, 1431. But 581 years after her death, Joan's legacy lives on.
Jehanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) was born January 16, 1412 to Jacques and Isabelle d'Arc in the small village of Domremy France, which is now part of Lorraine France. In her younger years Joan led the life of a regular peasant girl — helping her family and visiting the church everyday. Although she never learned to read and write she was very good with her hands. She was a courageous, determined and highly religious person. At the age of 12, she began to experience visions of saints and angels who told her to visit church regularly, but after a while they began to tell her to go and speak to King Charles Vll. As France's last hope Charles granted Joan permission to lead an army into battle.
On May 4, 1429 Joan's army attacked the fortress of St. Loup, followed by St. Jean le Blanc on May 5. The next day Joan's army attacked St. Augustins and on May 7 they attacked the English stronghold called "les Tourelles." Not only did Joan succeed in leading her army to obtain such a feat, she also cleaned up the soldiers' act by making it requirement for soldiers to go to church confession, give up swearing and avoid looting or harassing.
Joan became so loved by the people that she earned the reputation as "another St. Catherine come down to earth."
Without Joan France probably would have been entirely taken over by the English, which makes France forever in her debt. Sadly, Joan was captured and sold to the English. Joan attempted to escape many times. In one attempt she jumped off a tower and survived a 60-foot fall, but was knocked unconscious and recaptured.
Joan was sentenced to death and burned at the stake by the English at age 19. In addition, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so no one could claim she had escaped alive. The English then burned her twice more into ashes so that no relics could be collected. Before Joan died, she requested a cross to be held in front for her to see. She requested them to, "Hold the cross high so I may see it through the flames!"
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