“Striving for Success”
By Rachel McCarthy, 8-12
As many of you know, education is one of the aspects that sets America apart from nearly every country worldwide. The opportunity to rise from the ashes of the status from which we were born and craft from our labor a life we can take pride in is a remarkable gift, but this gift is given an even greater meaning with Catholic education. With Catholic education, it not only provides a sound basis of academics necessary for life, but it also provides the fundamental tools needed to harness each of our God-given talents as a force for good in the world. Catholic institutes such as St. Mary School understand that without proper guidance, these abilities can be tragically wasted or cast astray. Only with God can our talents be given the chance to reach their fullest potential.
But St. Mary School chooses to take this a step further. In addition to nurturing education, athletics, the fine arts, and spiritual faith, the students here are inspired to stand apart from the rest of the world as shining stars. We are challenged to not only be good people, but also to be good leaders and call those around us to do the same. Here, our gifts are constructed, guided, and then sent into the world to touch the lives of others. No one should hide his or her light under a bushel, and St. Mary students understand this perfectly. We lead others along the path of God in our everyday lives, may it be something as profound as visiting a nursing home or volunteering at a soup kitchen or something as simple as a kind word or a cheerful smile in the morning. This attitude is so routine that it comes to a point where it is automatic, and we cannot imagine our world without it. This is the true meaning of leading by example, where we become not just the words we preach but also the person behind the words.
This attitude, planted in us from our very first steps through the doors of St. Mary School, carries us on throughout the rest of our lives. No one wants a person with just a vast amount of knowledge; a textbook could provide all that information. In high school, college, and jobs, there is a constant search for someone who cannot only push himself or herself to the limit, but also who can push himself or herself in the right direction. Fortunately, students at St. Mary are blessed with that once in a lifetime opportunity to be that person.
But truly, it is the students themselves who raise the standards the most. For them, every day is a challenge, a constant struggle to forever push the parameters of what is defined as perfection. If they can run ten laps, they try to run another twenty. If they earn three perfect test scores, they aim for a fourth. They always strive to be their very best with each passing day and take the initiative St. Mary provides to do so. It is through these trials that St. Mary students achieve success, for ultimately, challenges inspire us to evolve from the person we are into the person God created us to be.