By Dickie Lau
For Northwest Asian Weekly
As a graduate, you must be looking forward to college life and beyond. But if you stop a while, look back to your past, you will have an unexpected discovery.
Harbour Pointe Middle School (HPMS) National Junior Honor Society hosted its Recognition Banquet in June.
The HPMS recognition banquet was organized by co-advisers Ann-Patrice Riccardo and Amy DeKlyen, and was hosted by President Cherie Ruan and Vice President Annabella Falloria. The event was to recognize the contribution of the society members and to serve as a farewell to the graduating eighth grade members.
The guest speaker of the event was my daughter, Miss Laurena Lau, who was the Kamiak High School Honor Society President. She encouraged the HPMS honor students and parents to close their eyes and think back on their past, even back to their sixth grade year. What happens?
People realized that parents and teachers are the first group of people who come to mind. Why? As my daughter said, “Their support and love had impacted your life.”
This summer, when middle school and high school students are celebrating their graduation, most of them will spend abundant time planning ahead for their new classes, buying new school bags, new books, new computers, new clothing, and figuring out how to make new friends.
However, it should also be the time for you to take pause and look back, to review how your former teachers, parents, siblings, and old friends helped you. Then give them a big, “Thanks!” Write them an appreciation note.
My daughter suggested to the parent audience, “Treasure every moment with them (students) and be a part of their lives, because this may be your last chance to change their future and steer them in the right direction.”
Laurena was also the vice president of Kamiak’s Associated Student Body (ASB). She served the City of Mukilteo as vice president of the Mukilteo City Youth Advisory Committee. She will attend the University of Washington in Seattle this coming fall, and I cannot be prouder.
Laurena was also once the vice president of Harbour Pointe Middle School National Junior Honor Society. After the banquet, she toured her old middle school campus. To her surprise, she discovered her name was still marked in the gymnasium, on the HP Hawks Fitness Challenge Record Board. Her push-up result, 84 and 85 push-ups, in 2006, is still the record to beat for both seventh and eighth graders.
If your former school still remembers you and recognizes you, it is not fair for you to just graduate, walk away, and move on with your own new life. One needs to return back. There are young folks waiting for your advice and support. When you go back to the former school, you will make some inspiring discovery that you will never forget.
Graduating and becoming more mature isn’t just about looking forward and pushing ahead, but also about looking back, going back to your old school to help the generation coming up after you. ♦
Besides being a proud father, Dickie Lau has been a Mukilteo resident for more than 10 years.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.