AA Senior Ashli S. Delivers Chapel Talk
2018, April 9 – The responsibilities of life can bring forth the best and worst in everyone. Ashli S. shared a candid reflection on taking responsibility in her Chapel Talk, delivered on March 28. She quoted her mother who told her to “work smarter, not harder.” For Ashli, this means taking care of what needs to be done and not wasting time.
“I know it is not easy to do what we are supposed to do sometimes,” Ashli said. Ironically, the ease of her academic work led to problems in school when she was younger. “Everything came easily to me,” she said, “and I really didn’t have to stress about studying.” Ashli finished her work early and admitted to causing “distractions” in her classroom.
Eventually, a teacher suggested finding a new school that would offer a greater challenge. With the support of her family, Ashli eventually chose homeschooling as the best option. Having tested two grades ahead of her age group, Ashli began the more rigorous coursework.
She also continued competitive cheerleading, which she began at age eleven. Practices were held four hours per day during the week, with some day-long practices on Saturdays.
During these years, Ashli said that she was often sick. That did not stop her from cheering, but it began to affect her school work. “I fell into the habit of doing mostly two things—eating and sleeping, and then cheering practice.” Even though she met the responsibilities of cheering, Ashli said that she told herself that homeschool meant she could set her own timetable. “I procrastinated until I had to buckle down and get it done,” she said, referring to her academic courses.
Realizing that she needed a different environment, Ashli and her mother sought a new option. At the beginning of tenth grade, Ashli enrolled at Amelia Academy. She continued to procrastinate on assignments, even though she maintained good grades. “I knew I could be doing better,” she said.
Eventually, Ashli said that she realized that she was letting down herself and her parents and teachers. “I was being unappreciative,” she said. Ashli offered an apology to “both my parents and anyone who gave me an opportunity that I didn’t take advantage of,” she said.
As she looks ahead to the challenges of college next year, Ashli has learned to balance her responsibilities. She encouraged her fellow students to take advantage of opportunities offered to them, but also to bring the “high level of self-discipline” that will lead to success.
As a student at Amelia Academy, Ashli has become known for her artistic talent along with her dedication to cheerleading. She has also achieved recognition for her academic success through membership in the National Honor Society and Beta Club.
Attending her chapel talk were her parents, Jodaea M.-W. and Randy W. Following the chapel talk program, guests and members of the senior class attended a reception.