Rainbow Alumnus, Geronimo Owen, graduated from Carolina Day School last week with the incredible honor of giving a speech directed at his fellow 2017 graduates. As he and his classmates step into a world of unknowns, Geronimo reminded them of the power of choice. Stepping into adulthood means both attaining the freedom to make your own choices and reciprocally it means taking responsibility for those choices. However many adults due to lack of opportunity and systems of domination never get that chance. Within the context of their excellent private education, Geronimo sees it as his and his classmates’ duty to live fully in the world and give of themselves completely, to make choices that align with their passions and purpose, and to exercise that power of choice with intention. While he appreciates the draws of comfort, he also urged his classmates to go beyond comfort, asking “Why should we ever be comfortable with comfort?”
When he reflects on all those big “why” questions – why spend so much energy and time and money on this high school degree – he sees beyond the “good education, good college, good job” pipeline. For him the reason is still somewhat elusive and yet totally clear. It’s all about connection. At Carolina Day he found a group of “passionate and creative people who care”. He learned to “never underestimate your classmates” as they have this wonderful ability to keep surprising you no matter how well you think you know them. Making authentic heart-felt connections with the people in his Carolina Day community is what made his experience so meaningful.
As the school that empowered him in his transition from middle school to high school, we couldn’t be more proud of Geronimo. It is the gift of a lifetime to see where our students wind up and how they continously adapt all they’ve learned to help them in their new surroundings. Thank you Geronimo for sharing your voice. A big congratulations to you and to your dearest mama, Renee Owen, our Executive Director, for completing yet another chapter in your bright lives.