Leaving Behind Our Senior Legacy
Hi everyone, I’m Mia. I just graduated from suncoast high school and I will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in the fall, majoring in quantitative finance.
I joined wmw the summer after my freshman year. I walked into training that summer with a pout on a my face because I was mad at my mom for making me come. It was not in any way how I had pictured spending my first week of summer, but that was because I had no idea what wmw stood for or what it was.
The girls in that room with me, along with ashley, made me enjoy coming back to training and then eventually camp and our year-round program. I was in awe of them and how they could command a room with their individual ways of leadership or how they could speak in front of others. I wanted to be just like them, so that’s what I set out to do. My junior year I stepped up and took on the role of treasurer, and my senior year I added on the roll of president for the first semester. This organization taught me to be a leader. It introduced me to so many other young women and men who taught me things I couldn’t learn anywhere else. Most of all, I grew as a person. I did things I never thought I’d do such as, speaking on stage at our glow to know event, speaking in front of a board, and helping to organize events whether it be g2k, led by Joanna or middle school mentoring, led by Shannon. Thank you wmw and everyone who has been a part of it.
I want to leave the high schoolers with a little piece of advice before I finish. People are going to put you down. It’s a part of life and that’s ok. Use it. Use it to fuel you and keep pushing you forward.
I was part of the mse program at suncoast. We started freshman year with pre calc and ap physics 1 and ended senior year with differential equations. 100 freshman started in my program and 49 of us made it out. Every year I was asked by someone “you’re still in mse?” or I would hear people make jokes because my grades in physics weren’t the best. I let those jokes and comments be the flame in the back of my head that would keep pushing me forward, and because I did that I proved so many people wrong.
51% of the students who began in mse dropped out and there were times where I really really thought I was going to make it 52%. Ask my mom. I would have mental breakdowns at 3am the morning of a calc 3 test because I was so scared that I would prove everyone else right if I did poorly on it.
I would always think about this one thing my dad has told me for years, “Life is like a pyramid. The higher you go, the smaller the amount of people who can fit gets.” People are going to fall of that pyramid, but I know that each and every one of you in this room has the capability and qualities to make it to the top. You’re going to have to be aggressive because it’s a tough world out there and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but above all, always always always be compassionate. Put other people’s needs before yours because that goes a long way and people notice people who do that, but also don’t forget to take care of yourself because you’re the only person who can actually get yourself to continue moving forward.
To my rising seniors... good luck on all of your college apps. They’re going to suck, hate to break it to you but they’re not fun. Time management is key, start early. But also have fun. It’s going to be your best year yet.
To my rising juniors… good luck. It’s going to be rough but it’s only a year. Start doing you sat/act now, if you wait you’ll be miserable.
And to my rising sophomores and freshmen… enjoy it while you can because you don’t realize how fast it’s going to go. I can still remember conversations I had during lunch freshman year. And don’t believe the rumors that only junior year grades count because that’s a lie.
So once again, thank you stand up, you taught me a lot. And Ashley… I just want to specifically say thank you to you. You’re amazing and we all wouldn’t be here in this room together if it weren’t for you. You have poured your heart and soul into this organization and that’s all we could ask for. Thank you for the opportunity and I can’t wait to watch Stand Up continue to grow. And to the high schoolers… keep doing big things.