But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living within that way of life. - Hunter S. Thomson
These wise words of Thomson’s are how Ryan Locati, Valedictorian of CMASAS class of 2016, began his valedictory address which was given at our recent graduation ceremony in Kilauea, Hawaii. Ryan said that CMASAS allowed him to live out these teachings and to “transcend the confinements of a standard high school and have the opportunity to pursue other aspects of my life with the vigor that I desired.”
Ryan continued in his speech, “While enrolled in this school I was able to make my life as a pupil secondary to my life as Ryan, meaning multiple things: I was able to create a healthy balance in my life that was so off-kilter while I was at public high school, and give more time to things that were more important to me. A luxury not often awarded to kids in high school.”
Many other students have shared similar testaments about CMASAS allowing them time and resources to pursue their passions, and Ryan’s words were a refreshing reminder of the school’s mission, to help young people live remarkable lives. He said that his years at CMASAS allotted him time to get to know himself, and he now feels that the possibilities are endless, and he has identified a way of life for which he will live.
Arden Vickers, another graduate in the class of 2016, gave a lovely speech at the graduation ceremony quoting a poem by Dr. Seuss:
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
This call to live one’s own truth was shared by many throughout the graduation festivities. Kai Lenny, a class of 2011 alumni, spoke at this year’s ceremony about his endeavors as a professional surfer and how his time at CMASAS allowed him to not only pursue his passion for surfing but taught him how to break boundaries, think with ingenuity, and dare to live in a way that others would not have the courage or tenacity to do. Like Ryan, Kai encouraged this year’s graduates to trust themselves and their foundation, and to not be afraid to strive for remarkable things.
Liam Soffer, who graduated from CMASAS last year, shared his passion for hip hop dance at our graduation ceremony and expressed how he is building a unique lifestyle and career path for himself. Liam, who is now in college studying dance, performed several routines for the CMASAS family at the celebratory dinner, physically inspiring others to pursue their own ambitions.
The graduation ceremony and surrounding festivities was such a gift to all who attended, and for the staff of CMASAS in particular. Getting to know the graduates in person, hearing their remarkable stories, listening to the sound of their laughs, sharing in their dreams, goals and plans for the immediate and also far off future — that was a beautiful gift for our teachers, PECs and staff. For a weekend, CMASAS felt like a family.
Congratulations to all of our graduates! We cannot wait to see the remarkable paths that each of our graduates will take.