Sarah O’Leary – 2012 Graduate

| May 21, 2012 | 0 Comments
As is tradition in our community, we love to celebrate our High School Seniors and give them the opportunity to share their story and thank those who’ve made an impact in their lives.  This is also a great chance to get a glimpse into the lives of the youth in our community and how life in Seldovia is preparing them for their future!
Join us for
Graduation at Susan B. English School
Wednesday evening at 6:00pm.  
We will also be celebrating the graduation of our
head start students and the graduation of our largest class at SBE –
the 8th grade class – who will move on to High School next year!
1. What is your “Seldovia Story”?

My family moved to Seldovia when I was seven years old.  My parents started a business that soon became popularly known as Sweet-n-Clean.   Sweet-n-Clean grew into a place where people felt welcome.   Teenagers loved to hang-out, and families loved to come and eat. Our family ended up selling the business and became very involved in other activities.  I started playing basketball in 6th grade, and was able to play through senior year.   I have had wonderful team mates and coaches along the way that have helped me grow and learn.   My true passion sport was volleyball, which I was able to play four years of high school.   I learned to be flexible in the sport, and was able to experience every position spot. To this day there is nothing that makes me feel more proud than the feeling that I had playing on our Seldovia Sea Otters team.

I also became very involved in the family passion of medicine.   My parents were medics before we moved to Seldovia, and slid right into the EMS department.   I was excited to become officially a part of Seldovia EMS at the age of fourteen.

Growing up in this town has been a privilege that I will always cherish. There aren’t too many places on earth that you can walk down Main Street and be able to know everyone by name.

2.  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Now, as a Senior – what do you want to be when you grow up? How has that changed?

When I was five years old I told my parents that I wanted to be a missionary to China.  I heard a story of Hudson Taylor that inspired my heart.   As I am preparing to leave high school my direction hasn’t wavered much.   My heart is still set on serving God, and I will be attending college to major in education.   My dream is to become a high school history teacher that brings history to life.   I wish to be the teacher that the kids can’t get enough of.   On a side job, outside of school I wish to start an all-girls youth group.   My prayer is that God will use the mistakes that I have made in my life to help other girls that experience the same things.   I believe it is very important for teenagers to know that they aren’t the only people going through what they’re facing.   Strength comes with numbers, and no one deserves to feel like they are going through life alone.

3.  What are some of your favorite school memories? Seldovia memories?

Most of my favorite school memories come from sports.  The long drives, late nights, and crazy talks were never normal.  We laughed, we cried, we fought, we cared, and we were family.  I’ve spent a lot of time with my team mates, and it was empowering walking into a gym knowing that we had the ability to accomplish the world if we worked together.   One of my favorite volleyball memories was taking home the gold, and being able to represent Seldovia at the state tournament. Basketball on the other hand, well now that’s hard to say.   I guess if I’m forced to choose, my favorite memory was winning at state. We were the David amongst many Goliaths.   Being a part of that team made me feel special, and I absolutely loved sharing the memory with Sarah Geagel.

My favorite Seldovia memories are too many to count.   I have always loved being outdoors.  Being able to hike the mountains, swim in the oceans, and wear shorts in the winter are all unforgettable!  Seldovia has been a beautiful place to grow up, and with many friends and challenges it has always been able to keep me on my toes.

4. What are your plans this summer? This next year?

This summer I plan on working really hard with many different jobs. I have the chance to work with Seldovia Prevention Program for swim lessons, native dance, life guarding, and guiding young people.   I will be able to interact with familiar faces and new ones down at the Tribal Cache, and I’m excited about the wonderful privilege of serving at SVT’s senior meals program.   I will also be running with EMS until I leave for college, and you will most likely be seeing me around with many different kids on my down time.

My plan for this coming year is to attend Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas.   There, I plan to get a four-year bachelor degree in education, with a minor in Pastoral studies.   I’m also excited for the wonderful ministry opportunities that I will have once I get down to Texas.   I am truly looking forward to the great plan God is showing me for my life.

5.  Growing up requires a lot of help – who do you want to thank? Who made a big impression on you and has influenced you in a positive way? Who deserves a “Virtual Rose”?

First and foremost I want to thank my family.   They have been there for me when I was at my lowest.   They have helped, encouraged, disciplined, and supported me since day one.   I love each and every one of them very much.

Second, I’d like to thank the Hoards, though I do consider them a part of my family so they get thanked twice.   They have always had their door and couch open for me when I was in dire need for it.   Their children are wonderful, and I feel blessed that they have accepted me as a part of their family.   They are an amazing addition to this town, and will continue to be a blessing.

Third, I want to thank my coaches and all the staff at SBE.   You all have been amazing.   My coaches have made me not only a better athlete, but a better person.   They have taught me the value of team work and how to win and lose with grace.   I would especially like to thank my coach Mark Janes.   If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have had a senior basketball season.   Thank you for making it possible, and giving me a chance to play against the big boys!

As for the SBE staff, I am so grateful to all of you.   Mrs. Hingley you are an amazing woman who does her job very well.   You are always so helpful, sweet and caring.   Sandy, I really don’t know how you juggle a business, school and a family, but you need a wonder-woman suit!  To all the teachers, you have taught me the value of hard work and perseverance.   Since the day I started school it was never easy, some might even say it was a rough transition, but it was worth the troubles to learn from you guys.   Keep your heads up, because you are doing an amazing job.

I also want to thank Sarah Geagel, Lily Kroll, and Amanda Gain. Out of all my friends in Seldovia you all are the most memorable. Sarah you have pushed me since the first day I met you. We fight, we laugh, and we push each other to become the better person. I will never have a greater team-mate than you.   Lily, oh Lily. We have had some great times, rough but great. You have taught me to live life and have fun. It was rarely a dull moment with you girl.   And last, but not least, Amanda.   Honey,  you are an amazing, strong and beautiful girl who has become the greatest friend.   We have had major ups and downs this year, but we have made it.  We stuck it out, got through it, and we are done!   Be excited, for crying out loud!   I will miss you very dearly honey.   Can’t wait to catch up over holidays!

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Category: Education

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