The elementary school I attended gives an award each year at this time to celebrate two outstanding citizens: kids who exemplify the spirit of kindness, generosity, contribution. The Citizenship Award looks like an Olympic Medal, a large medallion that the principal of the school places around your neck symbolizing your impact on your community. I can still feel the weight of it against my heart, when I received the award in 5th grade. The medal remains one of my most prized possessions, mainly because, it represents choice, a reminder I reference often.
In third grade, my best friend Whitney received the award. She and I were highly competitive, always vying for first position in our class with the highest grades. But when you receive the most important award in the school, you’re on a pedestal, while the rest of us have to stare up at you. I decided that May afternoon, that I needed that award too. I committed myself to taking every opportunity that I saw to do good and to do right. Now this part is important and I’ll say it again, I took every opportunity there was to do good. It started with desire for an accolade but it built habit that molded me into who I am. Today, I still seek the same opportunity to do good, and I offer opportunity to many people. What I’ve discovered however, is that very few will take it.
Good citizenship is the most important aspect of a Boulder Country Day education because good citizens become great leaders. This year, I had the chance to interview four graduating BCD 8th Graders, all of whom will wow us one day. They will end their BCD careers this week presenting their capstone project which is focused on community service. In the midst of a pandemic, when self-management becomes mandatory and expectations become lax, these four students maintained their commitment. They have taken the opportunity to do good despite having several doors close in their face including the one that connects them with the world.
I hope you watch and consider their stories. I hope you’re inspired. I hope you know the future is bright.And I hope you make a choice to do more good, if for no other reason than because that choice is easy.
Life isn’t made for perfect people. It’s made for those who know how to turn an impossible situation into something beautiful. It’s made for fighters, dreamers, lovers, and people who won’t give up even when life feels impossible.