published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Mohney: What is this thing known as charm?

By Nell Mohney

From the moment Mei Li Zuber walked across the improvised stage at the Women of Distinction luncheon in May, it was obvious she is no ordinary young woman. What’s her secret? It’s something more than just physical attractiveness, though she has that in abundance. She is a tall, slender beauty with shiny dark hair. Her “something more” is charm in the best sense of the word.

Immediately, I thought of J.M. Barrie, who described this attribute in his play “What Every Woman Knows.” He wrote: “Charm is a sort of bloom on a woman. If she has it, she doesn’t need anything else; if she doesn’t have it, it doesn’t much matter what else she has.”

Mei Li has it. To me, it seems her charm comes chiefly from her love for and service to God and others. The amount of her volunteer work is amazing when you think of the amount of time it must take to maintain a 3.93 grade point average. She aced the ACT, the college entrance exam, and at Soddy-Daisy High School, she took all 10 honors and all five advanced placement classes. Mei Li received a four-year scholarship to East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, where she is enrolled in their Honors program.

It was when Mei Li was in the third grade that Nancy Zuber, a foster parent, found her in the children’s shelter. Zuber soon realized the beautiful and bright little girl could not read. Taking Mei Li into her own home and later adopting her, Nancy Zuber taught Mei Li to read and hired a tutor to keep her up to speed in other subjects. Now she is a voracious reader.

As a child, Mei Li’s comment to her adoptive mother was, “God must have been reading the newspaper when I was sent to my first family. Now I’m in the right family.” Her career goal is to become a pediatric physical therapist since she enjoys working with children. All those who know this outstanding young woman have no doubt she will not only meet this goal but exceed it.

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at nell wmohney@comcast.net.

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