Jack Huffman - Grade 9, Chaminade Julienne High School
A Foundation of Opportunity
As I pose in front of the sign that I would see for the next 12 years of my life with my new shoes and a smile on my face, I did not realize how much of an impact this place would have on me. I grew up here. I matured and I learned a lot here. I cried and I smiled. I met new friends and lost some too. This was the school that I woke up some mornings, sick and tired of, and others, thinking it was the best place in the world.
Among other things, the Catholic school I attended for preschool on up to 8th grade, had an instrumental impact on my life. Every week on Wednesday morning, we attended mass. Looking back on that now, it was one of the best things I took part in. This past year, I had kids looking up to me. Saying hi in the hallways and high-fiving me, these kids made me realize that I was on the right path and that I belonged here at school, learning and fitting into this faith that my parents bestowed upon me when I was young.
My parents have always explained to me that I have choices. The thought of letting my parents down and doing something I know they would not want me to do, has always pushed me through life. I know they believe in me and this has made me strive to be the best person I can be. Striving and pushing myself to get the best grade, to give my best effort in athletics and to never give up on my dream.
Learning has been key in my life as well. Learning from the choices I have made. Playing football in 5th grade was one of these choices. I went out in my dad’s footsteps. He had laid the path for me, going out and passing the football with me and watching the NFL games on Sundays, but I went out on the field knowing no one. I had no friends or classmates on the team.
Looking back on it now, I am glad I made that choice. It has opened me up to meeting new people as I start my high school journey, but it also showed me the doubters that I will face. I know now that I will face these people in whatever career I choose. I will have to rely on my own belief to get me through the hard times. My teachers’ patience and my parents’ hard work and determination has led me to be so blessed with the greatest of opportunities of getting a great education, while also continuing my faith.
Through it all, I have realized that I have the ability to choose what I want to do, but in the end it is my faith education and family that have put me in this position, to succeed in life and give me happiness in the end.