Since running the effort of awarding our scholarship, I’ve never been able to get back home to award the winner myself. Each year I’ve written a letter to the graduating seniors for the scholarship award ceremony.
Below is this year’s letter:
To the upcoming graduates of Strasburg High School,
This June will mark seven years since graduating from Strasburg High School. It is quite astonishing how fast time really passes you by, with each of us having our own story on where it all went.
Since that day, I’ve graduated from James Madison University with a Computer Science degree, moved to Wisconsin, to Cincinnati, then back to Wisconsin working at General Electric’s renowned leadership program. The person who sat in those chairs, and the person who is writing to you from a distance has grown through the experiences these last 7 years.
I want to encourage all of you to grow through the experiences you decide to take on in your life. Warren Buffet said that “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” As you head into the next steps of adulting, you have the opportunity to decide on the path you want your life to take. Success or wealth or any measurement you want to use towards achieving your goals is not built in one day, neither was Rome. Instead, it is the sum of your daily habits that lead you along the way.
Mr. Buffet also said in one of his talks of how lucky the younger generations were, in that they are able to their change habits. Because once you reach 80+, it would be like trying to move one of the huge river rocks down by the park boating ramp, not happening. In other words, you’re pretty set in your ways. So, take this summer to really define what you want in your life, then start driving, incorporating positive habits, on the road to get there.
You may ask me, how in the world would I know what I want, I’m only 18? You can always change direction, like Google Maps does for us in traffic. Ask yourself…”In 10 years, where do I want to be?” List out the steps in reverse to get there.
Strasburg High School taught me the many values that I still believe in to this day. Hard work, confidence, integrity, leadership, accountability, and respect. There were many times walking down to that football practice field on Monday that my whole body still hurt from Friday’s game. Coach Smooth expected us to give us our all either way. There is always an excuse not to give your all. Coach Proctor used to tell us: “Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people won’t.” Which group of people do you want to be in?
I’m sure by now you have heard that the next few years are your transition into independence. I want to emphasize the importance of finding friends who are looking to achieve as you are, because it is easy to be distracted by those who are not. I am grateful for my fraternity brothers who helped me write many pages in my transition chapter, helping me grow as a person, and achiever.
With the help of these gentlemen, we have been able to raise money to fund our third annual scholarship to a senior at SHS. Our chapter was founded on JMU’s campus in 1985, and has been helping to improve the community, while living up to the motto of “achieving in every field of human endeavor” since. Before announcing our winner, we want to first give appreciation to all those who gave their time to apply. It is truly, truly appreciated.
Our winner, Jesse Boyce, has leadership experience in athletics and community organizations. My favorite being, her reading Dr. Seuss books to the kids at the library. In the future, she wants to be a dietician to help people live a better life. As the saying goes, “we are what we eat!” Congratulations Jesse! I want to leave you all with one more quote from Dr. Seuss before wrapping up.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Thank you all and best wishes on your journey to achieve,
There’s still time!
We don’t actually send the money over to our scholarship winner until August/September time frame. If you’re interested in helping take it from $250 to $500 -> donate on the scholarship page!
SN - I'll be creating a past winners page soon.
Have a great weekend!!