AA Senior Elizabeth J. Delivers Chapel Talk
2018, March 5 – During the challenges of life, the support of friends and family is invaluable, said Elizabeth J. in her Chapel Talk, delivered on February 28. Time spent alone also sustains us during difficult moments, she said.
As a child, music played a big role in Elizabeth’s life. She shared a memory of time spent with her Dad on Saturday mornings. “We watched Pop-Up Video, which featured all the best music videos from the 80s.”
When Elizabeth experienced bullying at another school as a young student, she found solace in music. Not wanting to be labeled as a tattle tale, Elizabeth told no one and felt a sense of isolation. “To handle the stress of it all, I would sit alone in my room and listen to music or try to write my own,” she said.
A few years later, Elizabeth said her Mom bought her a guitar. Since she didn’t know how to play the instrument, she watched videos online and taught herself chords. Soon, she was learning more and playing songs. This experience led Elizabeth back to YouTube to learn how to play the piano. Since then, music has filled her life.
“The past year I’ve gotten so busy with school and work that music has been pushed to the back,” Elizabeth said. It was a friend and classmate, Andrew B., who revitalized her interest in music. “Andrew and I started talking about our music, and he showed me some stuff he was working on,” she said. Those conversations led her to focus more on her own music.
Her friends at Amelia Academy became the support system Elizabeth emphasized in her Chapel Talk. On her first day at the Academy in the eighth grade, “this girl came up to me and introduced herself.” They became friends and that girl, Alex A., became “one of the most important people in my life . . .I even refer to as my sister,” she said.
Along with the good times they share as friends, Elizabeth said that Alex has helped her through difficult times, such as when her grandfather passed away.
Other important friendships in Elizabeth’s life include her twin sister Allison and brother Jordan. “Every day, we have our ‘sib meeting’ and talk about the momentous part of our day,” she said. They also share an extended group that includes Academy friends, Royce C. and Tyler G.
Over the past two years, Elizabeth took on a new challenge when she decided to play volleyball and basketball at the Academy. She said that her teammates taught her about teamwork and patience. They also had many fun moments in between practice and games. Elizabeth remembered one game during which she scored her points. “When I watched the video, I saw everyone jumping up and clapping. They made me feel so proud for accomplishing that milestone,” she said.
Elizabeth also expressed appreciation for her coaches, especially “Mrs. Shan” whom she considers a second mother. “I know that anytime I need her, she will always answer my phone call,” she said.
The importance of a good support system cannot be overstated said Elizabeth. For her, time spent alone in creative pursuits has been interwoven with the reliance on friends and family. Elizabeth encouraged her fellow students to reach out to others and follow their creative talents for support when they need it.
During her years at the Academy, Elizabeth has been an active participant in various programs, including performances in the Academy’s cabaret program, forensics competitions, and chapel services, to name a few. She is a member of the Beta Club and the audio-visual club, and she participated in the Academy’s equestrian program. As a student-athlete, Elizabeth has played volleyball and basketball.
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents, Tracy and William J., along with her sister Allison and brother Jordan D. Also present was her grandmother Jane J. Special guests included her former coach, Melinda Z., and current volleyball coach and faculty member, Jason M. Friends in attendance included Alex A., Elly A., Rachel A., Tehya C., and Skylar W.
Guests and members of the senior class attended a reception following the chapel talk program.