On March 5th we inducted our newest National Honor Society members. Delenn F. gave the impressive speech below and we really wanted to share her message with our entire school community. Thanks Delenn for your inspirational words!
Hello! My name is Delenn F, and I am a high school junior and a member of the NHS. I’d like to start off with a quote from Dr. Seuss, in his incomparable work, Oh, the Places You’ll Go.
“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. “
Am I the only one here that thinks that sounds daunting? It sounds sweeping and impressive and inspiring when you hear it as a group and think about how wonderful and amazing your contribution can be. But when you think about it by yourself, it’s kind of scary. I mean, I don’t know about you, but the other day I put my leggings on backwards and didn’t realize it until about three hours after I’d been wearing them. This was kind of an off day, but still, it’s kind of hard for me to rectify this picture of myself with the awe-inspiring and life changing person who I want to be, and who I think everybody who is willing to undergo the long process of joining and remaining in NHS wants to be. So I’m beginning to take a different mindset, a mindset that NHS has helped me to do, and that 21st Century Cyber Charter School has helped me to do. Has anybody ever seen the movie, What About Bob? If you haven’t, it’s about this guy named Bob, played by Bill Murray who has many, many psychological issues, and who is trying to fix them all at once. He wants to be better, but has a hard time getting past his insecurities. And Richard Dreyfuss’s character says to him, “baby steps.” It’s kind of a neat idea, baby steps. The idea that the little actions that we choose to do can influence us and the people that surround us in ways that we can’t always expect and would do well to pay attention to. And this is not just my excuse for not having a big project – I actually believe this. We live in a world and a culture where bigger is better. We supersize our lives in the hopes that we can make our mark on the world. I met somebody who once said, “I want to be as great a leader as Napoleon or Caesar.” You can perhaps see how that might not be desirable. But really, this isn’t the mindset we should embrace. I don’t know if any of you or all of you has ever been to Disney. There are people there whose sole responsibility is to smile and wave at you when you come in. They are there to make the world, and our experience a little bit better. The people in this room are the best and the brightest that this school has to offer. They don’t need advice on how to do well in school, or how to impress people because they have already proven that they’re more than capable. But perhaps we all need to consider a change in mindset. I began at this school because I wanted a challenge. I wanted something new and different, and I definitely got it. I envisioned being head of all of these clubs and moving forward to make a grand student contribution. In my daydreams lots of exciting things happened, and then life kind of got in the way, as it is wont to do, and it made me reconsider just what type of contribution I should focus on making. It made me consider that perhaps we need more smiling people in the world. More people to volunteer a couple of hours a week doing something they love, more people to remember that the biggest things come in the smallest packages and that by doing something as simple as holding the door open for somebody else we can have a positive impact. I’m not saying don’t have grand ambitions. In this room we have teachers, superintendents, board members, future scientists, doctors, communicators and I showed up too. So dream big. But also don’t forget that in order to make a difference, you have to be here now. Having great and fantastic plans for the future may sound perfect at the time, but sometimes the best thing to do is to show up. To show support. We are who we are because of friends and family, teachers and staff, and because of people who smile, open doors and offer to lend a hand doing something they love for a few hours on the weekend. Some of my best memories come from helping out with a bake sale on weekends to benefit CPAA or planting trees in a church. Every year the fire department has a big chicken barbeque to benefit the firefighters, and the boy scouts sell popcorn outside. These little things are things that we can help out with and look forward to. It’s not always about being the best and the brightest. The underlying message of community service, character, leadership and scholarship isn’t just about being at the top, it’s about helping others to get up there with you. It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Because everything we do, big and small, has an impact, and I would like to thank all of you for the impact you’ve had on me, on my family and on the school that I now hold dear.