It’s a Wonderful World: Dare to dream

Leah Silvieus

The RHS junior senior prom, “It’s a Wonderful World,” has come and gone, and it will be a night RHS seniors will remember.

Austin Usher and Hailey McDonald were the junior royalty; Nick Long and Brooke St. Pierre were senior prom king and queen.

The after-prom party was held at the SuperBowl in New Castle. Many thanks go to the juniors, RHS staff, administration, parents and community members who put time, funds and effort into making prom unforgettable.

The year is swiftly winding down, graduation announcements are being sent and seniors are contemplating what to do with their lives – quite a daunting task in a society so full of opportunities.

Inspiring words

from Lt. Col. Martha McSally

Last week, I attended the Free Spirit journalism conference, sponsored by the Freedom Forum, and held in Washington D.C.

On Wednesday, 102 high school senior journalists streamed into Washington from all over the country. They were selected for their newspaper portfolios, essays, transcripts and resumes.

Throughout the three-day trip, we met world-renowned journalists, such as Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, and world-changers such as Mattie Stepanek, the 12-year-old author suffering from a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

One of the most inspiring speakers was Lt. Col. Martha McSally, highest-ranking female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

I wanted to share some of her words with my fellow seniors. As young children, dreams are big and nothing seems impossible. Yet, as we graduate into adulthood, making a difference in the world seems discouraged by cynicism and jaded world views.

Throughout the conference, McSally encouraged us not to give up that fire.

“You’ve got to wake up and say `I’m going to make a difference; I’m going to make an impact,'” she said. “God put a fire in my belly to get up and make an impact.”

In 1995, McSally challenged the order that women in the Air Force who were stationed in Saudi Arabia wear Muslim dress when off the base. Men were not ordered to wear Muslim dress; they were actually forbidden to wear regional clothing.

She went through a long and discouraging process of striving for change when most people told her to give up.

“Every morning, I fell onto my knees and said, `Lord, help me through the day.'” she said. “It came back to Esther 4:14, `can it be that you were put into this position for such a time as this?'”

Her determination and diligence finally saw the dress code changed, but McSally did not stop there. She recently returned from the war in Iraq.

I want to encourage all seniors not to give up on the big dreams in life, the ones that seem nearly impossible. Don’t settle for status quo.

“If you’re convicted (about doing something), it’s so much more important to do that than hide out and cover your butt,” she said.

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