Senior Angelina Peterson gave these remarks to students in Middle School assembly.
Hello, My name is Angelina Peterson. I have gone to Waterford since PreK-3 and this year I am a senior. I have not spent a single day in another school. Next year I will attend and play soccer at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon where I received an academic scholarship.
I was able to discover things about myself that I don’t think I would have without Waterford. I discovered I am an artist, a leader, a humanitarian, and a scholar. My liberal arts experience allowed me to tap into all different sides of myself. I discovered I was an artist through the A.P. ceramics program that is offered in high school. I was able to learn how to build pottery and throw on a potter's wheel. This year I built a set of vases in ceramics that were chosen to be showcased at a national Ceramics exhibit in Pittsburgh. My pottery was judged at the exhibit and I was awarded a cash scholarship. I have loved being apart of the ceramics program at Waterford, and I am excited to continue making pottery in college.
Many different parts of my Waterford experience helped me discover I am a strong leader, but my experience as a Waterford athlete was most instrumental in developing my leadership skills. This past season I was named captain of the soccer team. I was responsible for planning and leading summer practices. Being captain gave me the authority to be the only player allowed to speak to coaches and referees on behalf of my teammates. As captain, I was given the opportunity to help and mentor the freshmen and sophomores. I stayed after practices to help new players improve their skills. During the rare game when we were behind, I encouraged players and reminded them that we still had a chance to win. During this year's championship game at Rio Tinto, when I didn’t feel our formation was working, I had the confidence to tell the coach we needed to change. He changed the formation and we immediately scored two goals. As I reflect on that experience, the roots of my confidence and the strength of my voice were cultivated on the first day of PreK-3 when I was asked to introduce myself in front of the class. Each week we were asked to stand and speak in some capacity relative to our age. This continued throughout my Waterford experience. In every academic class I was asked for my voice and for my opinion, for my reasoning and my rational. Through this loving prodding I was able to explore, challenge, and refine my beliefs and opinions. Little did I know at the time, these skills crafted in class room would cross over to other areas of my life, including the soccer field, ceramics, and humanitarian work.
Last year, I was able to go on the Waterford service trip to Calcutta, India. The first few days, we worked at a girls' orphanage where we painted, taught them how to ride bikes, and spoke English with the girls. After that, we worked in a Mother Teresa home for abused girls and women. All of the women living in the home have been abused so badly, they are unable to care for themselves and function as independent human beings. I helped bathe, feed, and clothe them. One day, I was asked to help move a woman who had fallen over and lost consciousness. When I picked her up with the help of another volunteer, she lost control of her bowels. In this moment,I truly did not care that I had just been peed on, I was simply happy to be helping another person who was unable to help herself. I always knew I was lucky to have the life I have and I have always known that I care about other people. Through this experience I learned the magnitude of my blessings, and the lengths I would go to in order to ease others' suffering.
In fact, I plan to become a civil rights attorney. I am very passionate about social, political, and economic justice and wish to help underserved populations. The opportunity to go on the service trip to Calcutta, India solidified this desire.
However this manifests in my life, I will bring to that experience what I learned from being a Waterford artist, a Waterford leader, a Waterford humanitarian. I urge you to take advantage and enjoy the amazing opportunities Waterford has to offer.
September 11, 2020
April 8, 2022
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