Amelia Academy seniors are beginning the countdown to graduation on May 23. It was therefore an appropriate time for Amari Hicks to speak about the inevitability of change in her Chapel Talk, delivered on March 13.
“Change is not necessarily a good thing; nor is it a bad thing,” she said. “Change is simply a thing that happens to each of us during certain times in our lives.”
Amari offered several examples of change that many teens experience, such as evolving choices in fashion, music, and sports teams. Other intentional changes may lead to becoming a better person or achieving goals, she said.
Since arriving at the Academy in the second grade, Amari has emerged from the admittedly shy newcomer. “I didn’t really talk to anyone except my teachers and maybe two other classmates,” she said. During that first year, she eventually got to know the rest of her class and came out of her “comfort zone.” She said that this was an example of a good change. “It was a wonderful decision,” she said.
All went well until Middle School when Amari said she began to retreat again. “It was a crazy time full of change . . . the lovely time of hitting puberty,” Amari said. However, just as she did in Lower School, Amari persevered and pursued new adventures, including playing volleyball.
She also decided to participate in Forensics, an annual public speaking competition of the Association of Virginia Academies (AVA). This experience led to an interest in “reading for fun” and creative writing.
Once again, in Upper School, Amari continued to step out of her comfort zone and pursue new opportunities. She joined the local chapter of Young Life, a positive experience that helped her confidence. “I made lots of new friends who never fail to make me smile,” she said.
Despite the difficult of overcoming fear, Amari said she is grateful for the changes she has made. “Don’t be afraid to do it,” she told her audience. “It could possibly make your life much better.”
In her closing, Amari quoted the Dalai Lama, “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.”
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents Juliane and Boyce Hicks, along with her sister Meagan. Also present were her grandparents, Viola and James Booker, and her grandmother, Ann Hicks. Other special guests included her aunts, Lofonda Booker, Jennifer Cooper, and Lowonda Craft, along with her cousin, Chelsey Poe.