Though there is a perception that these programs are unaffordable to most people, there are in fact dozens of free academic summer programs for high school students. The subjects range from arts to research to humanities. There is a program for every student regardless of race, income, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, or residency. All programs include room, board, and transportation to and from the location unless otherwise specified. Some programs (particularly those in science research) will even give students stipends of more than $4,000 for the summer.
So far, the feedback has been amazing, and their goal is to help as many people heal from heart surgery through the efforts of our foundation as possible. Since Brooke is a living example of the miracle that can be yielded from successful open heart surgeries, it gives them a unique vantage point for empathy. It also helps them to create high-quality pillows with a great deal of love and respect for those who will be using them. Brooke is now the greatest inspiration, being someone who is enjoying a full life after surviving two surgeries. Thanks to the efforts of her doctors and the love of grandpa and the family, Brooke is able focus on normal life adventures like traveling with her competitive softball team. We hope that her story is inspirational for those who have yet to undergo heart surgery, and perhaps, with enough effort, our healing pillows will find a way to their hearts.
Having played Ōkami myself, I can attest to its visual beauty, in the form of a gorgeous art style, laden with thick, inky-black brush strokes as outlines. The characters move with natural fluidity, and the atmosphere—with music and art style combined—is magical. By the end of my near 50-hour endeavor, I was sad to see the adventure come to a close. But isn’t that the same feeling you get from a good film, or book? No matter how long you have spent with those beloved characters, there is still a craving for more to chow on. The fact that this game can invoke such emotion in me that I let a few tears drop over a digital wolf (did I forget to mention that the main protagonist is not only a glorified mutt, but a sun goddess?) is simply astounding. Tom Bissel, a journalist, critic, and writer, even wrote a book on games being art, titled Why Video Games Matter. He claims that video games are “ambitious works of narrative fiction,” and can be compared with even the most engaging of books. Perhaps gaming was simply ahead of Ebert’s time, but in the end, it wouldn’t have hurt to dip a toe into the vast ocean of wonderful experiences you can find in the ever-changing market of gaming. Perhaps mindless shooters will always dominate, but hidden gems will always surface every once in a while—just to keep it fresh.