"World News With Charles Gibson" recognizes our people of the year who have used their gift of speech and music to inspire those around them.
Watch "World News With Charles Gibson" tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET for the full report.
Randy Pausch Lectures on Life
Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch, 46, never intended for his "last lecture" to become an Internet phenomenon, viewed by more than 6 million people.
Diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, he decided to give the lecture so that his three young children would know their dad.
"My dream was to play in the National Football League," said Pausch.
Although Pausch never played in the league, he has won more fans than many of those who did.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand," he said.
But now the lecture won't be his only legacy. His prognosis is unchanged, but Pausch just signed a $6.7 million deal to turn his last lecture into a book.
Pausch offered these inspiring words: "Never lose the childlike wonder. It's just too important. It's what drives us. Don't complain, just work harder. Find the best in everybody. You might have to wait a long time, but people will show you their good sides. It's not about achieving your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."
Pastor and Choir Reach Out to Katrina Victims
Pastor Pat Wright and her Total Experience Gospel Choir in Seattle encourage people to make the best of their situations and seize the day -- through music.
"I never wanted to be one of those choirs where you just go from church to church and sing. I wanted to conquer the world with what we did," Wright said.
To that end, her choir and church have raised more than $250,000 for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and they've made trips to the Gulf Coast to help.
"They said to us, 'We love what you're doing. Come again and just sing to us.'"
More than two years later, they are still helping. They found a home in Bay St. Louis, Miss., that is uninhabitable and Pastor Pat and her congregation are going to raze the house next Easter and rebuild it in six days. They flew the family who owns it to Seattle for a little rest and relaxation before Christmas.
Marching Band Leads by Spirit Darrell Watson leads Ballou Majestic Marching Knights High School Band, which hails from one of the worst neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. Despite a lack of musical training and the need for duct tape to fix their used instruments, the Marching Knights continue to thrive.
In November, at the National High Stepping Marching Band Championship, they placed first in flags, first in dance, first in drums and fourth overall. Earlier this month, the band got a surprise phone call from a parade official inviting the band to march in next year's 2009 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif..