LAOAG CITY – When taekwondo jin Miravelle Aguinaldo Millet, 14, from Barangay Nangalisan, this city decided to open their gate for neighborhood children to play, little did she know that she had been helping them build their character.

For seven days in a row now, at least 10 children aged 5 to 11 from the neighborhood have been learning basic taekwondo moves at Millet home’s front yard where they usually gather from 8 a.m. to 10  a.m. everyday. Their free training will end on Aug. 27 in time for the opening of classes.

Miravelle’s father, Oliver said, “some of the kids had been peeping through their gate as her daughter trains with a fellow athlete from Apayao province for a tournament.”

After the tournament, Miravelle let the kids train with her inside their home for free and they gladly welcomed it.

“Mira (as fondly called by her family) used to be shy, playing by herself inside our home. Now, she’s learning to socialize with the other kids around for the love of sports,” he added.

As an elder sister to Orievell, who was born with Down syndrome, Miravelle keeps her bond with her little sister by reading a book or coloring. Sometimes, she also joins her father when the latter goes out to deliver solar lights to clients.

The older Millet said he is thankful for having a daughter like Miravelle, who thinks and acts more mature than her age.

Growing up in a digital world, most kids these days are dragged into gadgets within the comfort of their homes with limited outdoor activities, according to Millet.

For Miravelle, taekwondo is not just for defense or simply entertainment but more so for building one’s character which is needed in 21st-century learning.

As an incoming Grade 9 pupil of the Ilocos Norte National High School-Special Science Class, Miravelle dreams of sharing her talent and skill, one child at a time. (PNA)