Why the Academy

Fort Worth Academy Prepared Me to Prosper Academically

Lizann Bonin, Class of 2014
Hi everyone! My name is Lizann Bonin and I am a senior at Fort Worth Country Day. First, I’d like to say congratulations to the NJHS Inductees. It is an honor to be recognized for your achievements. You and your parents should feel proud. When I was inducted into NJHS, I was extremely nervous and excited. I’m sure some of you can relate to those feelings right now. My NJHS induction is one of the many memories I made at Fort Worth Academy.
Some of my favorite memories, though, are those of Midwinterim, Winter P.E, and Electives. Midwinterim was soooo much fun. I remember rushing to sign up ASAP so I would get a spot in the Midwinterims. I wanted to be with all of my friends. I always chose to sign up for Rockets with Mr. H.and Lego Robotics with Mr. Porter. Winter P.E. was one of my favorite times of the year because I loved to skate and play Dance Dance Revolution. It was also when I first learned how to rollerblade. Electives were the best because I could take a pause from a busy school day and take part in something I enjoyed doing: Cheerleading and Design Thinking. Being a cheerleader was ~the bomb. com~. Cheer Camp, pep rallies, football games, the exhilaration of flying through the air, every part of it. Design Challenge was great because I love to build things and solve puzzles, Plus, it was taught by two of my favorite teachers: Mr. H. and Mrs. Uhr.

When it was time to graduate from Fort Worth Academy I was very anxious. I had been going to the same school since kindergarten and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to adjust to a new environment. However, I soon found out that Fort Worth Academy had prepared me well to continue prospering academically and socially. Since graduating, I've received several honors and immersed myself in many activities. My freshman year I received the Katherine Hooton Memorial Award for being the new student who made the greatest impact on my learning community, and a silver medal in the National Spanish Exam. As a  sophomore, I was awarded a gold medal in the National Spanish Exam, and I was recognized for maintaining a 90 or above in my Honors Spanish class all four quarters. If you are not so great in Spanish,  never fear because you can improve. I know from experience! As a junior, I received the Undergraduate Science Award and the Undergraduate Ballet Award. I was also inducted into Mu Alpha Theta that year for maintaining a 90 or above in my Honors Math class all four quarters. Throughout high school, I've participated in FW Country Day’s ballet program. I also got involved in the Tech Department my sophomore year and have continued to be a part of it.  My junior year, I became a member of Link Crew, a nationally recognized program that helps introduce freshmen to high school, and I am still a Link Crew leader as a senior. As you can see, wherever you go for high school, you will be prepared and ready.

As a senior,  I began looking at colleges that I wanted to apply to. Hear me now, it is never early to think about college. Since I was in fifth grade I have wanted to be an engineer, so that's what I based my college search on. Since I’m very passionate about engineering, I decided to aim high and to only apply to schools that were in the top 10 for engineering programs: Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University. I have been accepted to Purdue, and I am awaiting responses from Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon. Okay. So. the big question. Why do I want to study engineering?  Well, the short answer is, I knew I liked to build things and solve puzzles from a young age. Then that feeling was reinforced because of Design Thinking, and in 9th grade I discovered that  I'm really talented in Math. People always say if you like math, science, or building things you should consider being an engineer. So I did.  In fifth grade, I found a passion and held on to it. I suggest you do the same. If you have something you love to do, that you get excited about, or that you're really good at, don’t let it go.  Instead, let it be your driving factor for when you begin thinking about college.

So now I’m getting into the “advice stage” of my speech. I know,  just some cliche words that you'll probably hear multiple times throughout your life.  I know I have.  My main advice to you is: Keep working hard. Keep working hard to get into the high school you want. Keep working hard to get into the college you want. Keep working hard to pursue your passion.  An important part of working hard is also being proud of yourself and believing in yourself. In order to work hard, you have to believe that you can work hard. you have to believe that you can push yourself to achieve what might seem like the impossible. Even if you get knocked down along the way, be proud that you can pick yourself up and keep going. Also, if you're thinking about slacking off your freshman year just a little because “freshman grades don't matter” DON'T. they do. It doesn't matter if you don't know what college you want to attend or what profession you want to pursue. You will feel much better if you do the best you possibly can your easiest year of high school. If you're struggling to find motivation, find an end goal that you can work towards. For example, my end goal is to become a really good engineer.  Or perhaps it doesn't even have to be an end goal. Maybe just a desire to get on the High Honor Roll or to get all A’s. Even small ambitions can be a big help. But don't wait until it's too late to get motivated. Also, don't worry if you don't have a passion yet. It will come to you. But really, don't stress too much. You have time. Just remember that your work ethic will define your academic career. It will be much easier to achieve your aspirations if you have a good work ethic. So enjoy the rest of middle school, but keep working hard and dedicate yourself to your academics and athletics. Thank you all for listening and again, congratulations!

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