AA Senior Gillian C. Delivers Chapel Talk
2018, February 5 – “Every morning, we look in the mirror . . . and it is important to accept and love ourselves,” said Gillian C. in her Chapel Talk, delivered on Jan. 31. As our world changes, she said, we must “do our best to embrace who we are, pursue who we want to be, and learn from others.”
Gillian said that she used to be self-critical as she strived for what seemed unattainable perfection. “Whether it was how I dressed or how I acted, I never appreciated myself for who I was,” she said. Eventually, she began to realize that she needed to value the person she was “on the inside.” She credited her parents and “amazing friends” who have encouraged her to be herself.
When she appreciated herself more, Gillian said she began to value others for their unique qualities. Acknowledging the differences between her parents, she said they have a mutual respect and patience. “Even though they are different, they accept and love one another for who they are,” she said.
Even though she and her brother Royce have different interests, they also share a love for video games and the same songs. They have competed in shooting sports for the past seven years. That doesn’t mean they don’t have their different interests. Rather than creating conflict, their differences have had a positive impact, especially when Royce is helping her with Physics.
T“When we like ourselves and appreciate others, we can learn a lot from one another,” Gillian said. She listed a variety of people in her life who have taught her lessons, including Miss America 2010 who taught her to “be confident in myself.” She learned from her shooting coaches to “win with humility and lose with grace.”
From farmers, she learned patience, and “attention to detail” from machinists. Her friends have taught her to be positive, “to forgive and forget,” and sometimes to just laugh at herself.
Gillian has learned to appreciate everyone in her life for the unique people they are. She encouraged her fellow students to do the same. “Even though our school is small, we are a diverse group of people,” she said. “We should try to keep an open mind and encourage others to be themselves.”
As a student at the Academy over the past two years, Gillian has demonstrated a strong dedication to service. She was selected to represent the Academy at Girls State last summer. She also assisted with the Academy’s mascot cheerleading squad. This year, she serves as vice president of the Student Government Organization (SGO). She is a member of the National Honor Society, BETA club, and AV club.
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents, Melissa (class of 1986) and David C., along with her brother Royce, a 2017 graduate of the Academy. Also present were her grandparents Diana and David C. and Barbara and Roy G.
Following the program, guests and members of the senior class attended a reception.