Public Forum / By Michel Shane


Join effort of caring in memory of special girl

As the school year begins, it is a time to reflect on the new year upon the students, the groan of the end of summer. This year for us has been the worst that any parent could imagine. As the days continue, the sense of loss really never dulls. There are little things every moment that make us think of our precious daughter. But more than this, I would like to share what we have learned as parents and maybe bring some thoughts to other parents and inspire a few teenagers as well.

As a parent we see our children in a certain light within the family dynamic, we all feel our children are special and they are. But what I have learned in Emily’s passing is how others saw her and the effect she had on them. This is a rare glimpse of how well or badly our parenting skills work. As parents there is no manual, so we have to draw from what we saw our parents do (good or bad) and what we think is right. Sometime it works; other times, well not so good, as they say.

I have learned so much in these last five months about my daughter, it is actually amazing. Emily was a sweet, kind and giving child. That is no surprise. Most children in their parents’ eyes are. What we learned was that Emily took it upon herself to take up the cause of every child or person she came into contact. She wanted no one to be sad and always had an open ear and heart to listen and help as best a 13-year-old could. She made sure no one in her grade, or others below her, was ever alone. She was the unofficial ambassador of Malibu Middle/High School. If you were new to the school she was your friend until you found your way. She didn’t belong to any clique, but had friends in all. She never wanted to speak badly of anyone and didn’t like it if her friends did. She was not a saint, but she was a teenager who had depth and feeling beyond her years.

This is what inspired us to start the Web site, and the “Pass it Forward” campaign. The idea that a teenager can change the world one person at a time, and that it is easy to do something good for someone whether small or large, is not a sign of weakness but rather of strength. Emily Shane Way is one of helping, caring and showing that everyone matters.

No one should be lonely, no one should be sad and most of all no one should be hungry. Emily was very concerned about homeless people and how they could survive. Emily has opened my eyes.

My call is to all the teenagers of Malibu to start a movement to help their friends, strangers and others. We as adults have left this world a mess. But you can change it, by changing your attitude and caring. Won’t you join Emily at and help make the world around us a better place. Register your good deeds and join us in changing our world one person at a time. Emily Shane Way is the way to go and only you can do it. Imagine that 13 year old will start to change our world and let’s watch where it will grow. Do it for Emily because she can’t anymore.