AA Senior Erin A. Delivers Chapel Talk
2017, February 13 – “Everyone has a dream,” said Erin A. in her chapel talk, delivered on Feb. 8, “something that we are so passionate about that it ignites a fire in our hearts.” For Erin, working with animals is her passion, and she said that “following my passion has shaped me into the person I am today.
Erin remembers her fascination as a child with her granddaddy’s cows and her grandma’s cat. She had a dog, cat, and lamb by the age of five. Then, when she was eight, she was surprised with her own puppy, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel that she named Lily. “Lily has been my best friend,” she said, “and a member of the A. family for nearly ten years now.”
A few years later, she began raising chickens. “I loved hatching chicks, learning about their breeds, and enjoying their companionship; they became my pets.” As a young teenager, she was teased at her youth group for saying a prayer for her baby chick. It was then that she learned that circumstances might dissuade her from following her passion.
Erin said that she decided that she would not give up on her dream. In fact, she emphasized that the difficult times she has faced working with her animals has made her stronger and more determined. Just as all pet owners, she has had to face the loss of beloved animals. And, a busy senior year and her own health issues have claimed much of her time.
Nevertheless, she has persevered as she realized that through difficult times, “the one thing that made me happy was my animals.” Erin plans to follow her dream to Virginia Tech in the fall where she will begin work toward becoming a veterinarian. “I want to be a veterinarian to give back to my animals for all the times they helped me,” Erin said.
Erin admitted that following dreams is not easy. “You will face obstacles,” she told her fellow students. “It may seem far-fetched and difficult. . . [but] you should never give up. In the end, it will be worth it.”
As a student at the Academy over the past two years, Erin has been active in forming the environmental and science clubs. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. This year, she serves as treasurer of the Academy’s Student Government Organization (SGO).
In attendance for her chapel talk were her parents Dawn and Philip A., who serves as the Academy’s co-athletic director. Her siblings, Ellie and Grant, were present, along with friends Seth Z., Abbi S., and Quinton D., all Academy students. Other family members included her grandparents, Diane and David C., her grandmother, Nancy M., and aunts, Caroline A. G., Debbie H., and Carol W.-B.. Family friends Walter D., the Academy’s third-grade teacher, and Frank D. were also among the special guests.
The senior class and guests attended a reception after the chapel talk program.