Remember Aaron Swartz

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Apostolos, 14, Connecticut

Aaron is my inspiration. A young man who had gone to MIT and dared to defy a massive publishing company, in the hopes of making the world a more advanced and better place. I myself have dreamed of gaining free, open access to science papers that would advance my research rapidly — but they always ask me for $20 a paper. Teachers at my school had to give me the university access codes from their former students so I could even get the papers I needed. Even I know this breaks some laws, but I had no other option. Aaron wanted to end the monopolizing power of science journals, and he was not alone in this desire. But alas, a single person cannot bring down a great power by himself. He pushed too hard. I can only hope that the world will finally push back.

I always have wanted to be as successful as him. He authored so many things and was always amazing at everything he tried. Myself - I’m a terrible coder. I’m more into wildlife research and aeronautical engineering, and I’m not even very good at it.

Aaron was my idol, and I still can’t believe he would take his own life. It just seems like too many bright people like him are dying every day, and it makes me sad. But he will always remain in my mind.