Over the course of this school year, I have had the incredible honor and privilege to write articles as part of the Good News Nation and #1StudentNWI program. When I started the program, I honestly didn’t think much of it. But looking back and reflecting on my experience this year, I realize just how much I’ve learned about writing, about myself, and about those around me. While I love writing about what’s going on in my community, I think my favorite thing to write about is the people who surround me.
One of the highlights of writing about both my peers and my teachers is that I get to know them on a deeper level. The teachers here at La Lumiere make so many sacrifices for their students and for the community. Many mentioned how they loved La Lumiere because you get to know students in and out of the classroom. When having these conversations with my teachers, I really got to see how much they care about their students. They sacrifice countless hours to make our lives better. Working at a boarding school like La Lumiere means that teachers work 24-7. Before interviewing various faculty members, I didn’t really wrap my head around how much time and energy they pour into this place. Many of them live here, eat here, and raise their kids here. La Lumiere is their home, their family. Since beginning this job, I have gained a new-found respect for my teachers.
I have always believed that in a small community like La Lumiere, every voice matters. From teachers to students, each individual perspective shapes the identity of the community as a whole. One of my favorite responses I got from those being interviewed was, “Well I’m not that interesting, you won’t have much to write about.” This response always made me laugh.
Everyone has a story worth telling. While you might not be top of your class or a star athlete, you have a story that is worth telling. I love writing those stories about seemingly ordinary teaches and students. Learning and writing about quirks and interests allows you to gain a respect for everyone’s life and perspective. A seemingly normal person can have so much more going on behind the scenes. For example, one of the students I wrote about seemed like your typical high school student, but I learned that when she was deciding where to attend high school, her decision came down to a coin flip. That is why I love writing about people. I love being tasked with finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
In my #1StudentNWI work, I have gained a new found love in nonfiction writing. I have always enjoyed writing in some capacity. However, I had never found much joy in nonfiction writing. This job has allowed me to understand the beauty of it. Getting to write about real people and real events has helped me feel more connected to my surroundings. Knowing that anything can become a great story, I have begun to take in every bit of the moment I am in. Additionally, writing about my community makes it so much more dear to me. Writing is almost an intimate thing. I have never felt more connected to my La Lumiere community and the people in it.
Sadly, my journey within my La Lu community and as a #1StudentNWI is coming to a close. As graduation day draws nearer, I am filled with both excitement for the future and sadness to be leaving my home. For most of my life, La Lumiere has been my safe haven and my happy place. Leaving it will undoubtedly be difficult. Next year, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame. I am extremely excited for this next step in my life’s journey. I plan to keep writing in some capacity, but have yet to figure that out. So I am leaving here on a sort of bittersweet note. In the end I mostly want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone at Ideas in Motion Media for giving me this incredible opportunity, thank you to everyone who has allowed me to interview them and get to know them on a deeper level, and thank you to everyone who has read my articles this year. I will always cherish this experience. Thank you.