AA Senior Emily M. Delivers Chapel Talk
2017, October 25 – The eleventh annual Chapel Talk series at Amelia Academy began on October 25th with the speech of senior Emily M. Every senior at Amelia Academy, beginning in 2008, has offered a chapel talk. The speech offers an opportunity for the seniors to reflect on their experiences and establish a personal legacy. On Wednesday, October 25, Emily M. delivered her Chapel Talk, the first of this year’s class of 2018.
Emily took the opportunity to reflect on the positive aspect of failure in her Chapel Talk. Since Emily is known for her success, particularly in her academic pursuits, her topic may have seemed ironic at first.
Over the past two years, Emily shared that she had been pursuing her dream to “create characters” through special effects makeup. She was therefore pleased last year when AA faculty member Samantha Womack helped her land a job doing makeup for a haunted house. “The owner of the business was really impressed with my work, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. . . I got to do what I loved – making characters.”
Last Spring, Emily was offered an opportunity that seemed a perfect way to start her career. Based on her previous work, she was offered a job doing makeup for an independent film. She accepted the offer immediately and then waited until September for the project to begin. Even though the hours required on the film set were daunting, Emily said, “I wanted to prove I could do it. I really thought this was one of my life goals.”
Once production began, the hours on set began to take a toll as Emily “juggled managing the volleyball team, school work, and working really weird hours throughout the week.” She didn’t complain and carried forward because she was following her dream. However, it became impossible to meet all of the demands, and Emily eventually was forced to quit the film.
“I was more than a little upset that I had to stop working on this movie,” she said. “However, the moment I realized it wasn’t such a bad thing, I was no longer upset.” She realized that she had to make a choice between doing the film and fulfilling her obligations at school. If she had kept up the hectic schedule, she would have missed some of the volleyball games this season, her last as manager of the team. She also realized that her grades would eventually be negatively affected. “Continuing to work on the film was going to mess up some of my other goals,” she said.
Emily advised her fellow students to focus on the experiences they encounter as they strive to reach for their goals. They will face obstacles, she said, and they may fail. “It’s okay to fail,” she said, “and probably a little better that you do fail sometimes.” Failure is going to happen; that acceptance means that we can go on with our lives in spite of disappointments, she said.
During her years at the Academy, Emily has become known for her willingness to serve in many capacities. This fall, she organized an effort to collect supplies for the hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.
She has been a member of the Academy’s Scholastic Bowl team and participated in the regional Model U.N. program. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club, along with the science and audio-visual clubs. This year, she serves as treasurer of the senior class. Emily has been manager for the volleyball team since ninth grade and is the manager for this year’s girls basketball team.
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents Nesha and Bill Childress; Bill Childress is a member of the Academy faculty. The Childresses are also active volunteers in support of the Academy’s League of Parents and Teachers for which Nesha Childress serves as president and Bill serves as Secretary. Other guests included family friends Gail and Ron Wilson, Alexandria Arbitelle, Coach Jason Morris, and students, Hannah K., Emily K., Kelly F., Amari H., Elizabeth J., Aeron M., Lexi E., Ellie T., and Julia K., along with the varsity and middle school volleyball teams.
Guests and members of the senior class attended a reception after the chapel talk program.