From the Desk of Alexia Andrikopoulos '19
Student Council President Alexia Andrikopoulos '19 welcomed students, staff, parents, and grandparents to Convocation 2018 on Friday, September 21, 2018 with a heartfelt greeting of warmth. With Alexia's permission, I'm honored to share her words with you.
Good morning. Welcome to Austin Prep’s 2018 Convocation Mass. Thank you for braving the remaining construction and joining us for our first school wide mass this year. I am Alexia Andrikopoulos, Austin’s school-wide Student Council President, and I am honored to be representing the student body this morning and for the rest of the school year.
On this beautiful morning, we are gathered together to celebrate a new beginning, the start of another school year - whether it is your first year at Austin or your last - or anywhere in between. Our lives are often marked by firsts and lasts - our first words, our first steps, our first days of school to our final exams and our graduations. We often mark these “firsts and lasts” with photos and shared posts. However, it is all of the moments in between that make up the core of who we are as people. Many changes in our lives are marked by specific events, but more often they simply occur with the passage of time, sometimes even unnoticed. This change over time was obvious to me this year in my family’s “first day of school photo.” For the first time, my brother Yianni (class of 2023) was taller than me in our photo! Our physical growth and changes over our time together at Austin may be documented in photos and yearbooks, but it is our spiritual growth and development that constitute the value of our Austin Prep education. Just as this beautiful fall-like morning exemplifies, the changes that occur around us are uncontrollable. It is how we react and adapt to change that reveals our character.
While Austin has experienced many changes over my time here as a lifer, the core values that Austin instills in its students have remained constant. Veritas, Unitas and Caritas are not just words inscribed on our plaques or on our new dining hall chairs, but are goals to guide our path on campus, and throughout our lives. Allowing these values to influence our everyday decisions will change our lives, and those of everyone with whom we interact. As members of the Austin Prep community, our character is defined by these values. One of the new physical changes to our campus was an instrument of our caritas and unitas when our new dining hall served Austin families who were impacted by the recent fires. We are not a school of platitudes. We put our values in action.
Last year, Austin introduced its mission statement, “to inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire, and hands to serve.” This mission statement does not replace our “Veritas, Unitas and Caritas” but rather gives us a direction in how to apply these tenets in our lives. The start of the school year provides us a clear cut “new beginning,” but we need to recognize the little beginnings . . . our new chances to apply the mission in our lives. We are given a new beginning every morning, with each class or practice we attend, with each test we take, with each game we play, in every encounter with our parents, teachers and classmates as well as others with whom we interact throughout our days. Take advantage of these opportunities to be the best you can be in that moment. It is through these interactions that we can allow our Veritas, Unitas and Caritas to shine.
As a senior, this is my last “21st Day of September” at Austin. I ask all of you to make the most of each of your days this year, recognize the value not only in the “special” moments, but also in everyday moments. Thank you again for joining us this morning and I look forward to another great year.
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