I don't even know where to begin..Ella was an amazing young woman. She was the most capable and wonderful girl I've ever known, and I was honored to be her boyfriend for an entire 6 months. I am absolutely crushed by her sudden passing.

I mentioned above that she was capable, and that is no empty euphemism. She was a fifth-degree black belt in martial arts; she could take down a grown man if necessary. She was also a brilliant author, having been writing stories ever since she was four years-old. One could say she was an overachiever; that is true in every way, and I am not just saying that because I was in love with her. Ella was a straight-A student, not to mention a computer whiz. There were times when I sought her help with my computer. I called her, she came over and helped me solve the issue.

Ella was incredibly compassionate, selfless and outgoing. In fact, I can assure you that she was quite possibly the Rachel Scott of this day. She wanted to follow in Scott's footsteps and begin a "chain reaction" of kindness and compassion. Many of her friends, including me, looked up to her. As a beginner to martial arts, I had the privilege of having her as my mentor. Her friends and family were the center of her life; she was considered a motherly figure to some. She was fiercely devoted to her loved ones, and I've always admired her for that. You could say that is why I fell in love with her.

In some respects, I may have known Ella the best of all. The loves of her life were, without a doubt, her family and friends. She made me feel like the luckiest guy in our high school, although I have never quite figured out why she gave her heart to me. I'm not the most popular guy in school, and my family isn't exactly the richest family in our neighborhood. However, I know that she liked the types who made her feel secure, regardless of her high self-esteem. It was very rare of her to have low self-esteem; I guess we all know how special she was.

Ella was a superb young woman. She often participated in pep rallies, always running to and fro in front of the crowds, arousing them for the excitement and the fun. Never did she bully a student in our school, nor did she turn her back on her peers. She was once called by one of my friends one of the "most trustworthy and loyal friends you could ever meet". As painful as it is, her compassion was what made her a target for bullies. In my days living without her, I have yet to meet any human being who could rival her, and for that reason, the days without her should not be of sadness – although her passing is truly tragic, it should be a celebration of life, for one of God’s finest creations. She was the most wonderful person I have ever known.

Today, I ask that we all to keep her in our hearts and keep her alive through acts of kindness and compassion. Together with her friends, her brother and her beloved parents, I thank you all for remembering her, and pray that you keep her in your heart always. Rest in peace.

--Oliver Noah Petrov

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