Wednesday, May 29, 2019

H&M Seniors

Dear Health & Medicine Magnet Class of 2019,

I've just finished grading your capstone projects and, I have to hand it to you, you pulled it off. During this time a week ago, I was nervous. I was sure only half of you would turn in a capstone poster on Tuesday after a long weekend. I am very happy to say you proved me wrong. If I can give this class a motto, it would be "exceeding expectations at the last possible second". This year's capstone projects were thoughtful and well-executed. I am proud of all of you.

In the three years you have spent as a student in the Health and Medicine magnet, you have accomplished something really unique. I feel super old when I say, "You don't know how lucky you are", but maybe one day you'll believe me. While the equipment you have had access to and the lab skills you have acquired are rare in a high school program, it's the less visible skills you practiced and refined over the years that you will use the most. Think about the number of different people you had to work with on labs and group projects (for better or worse). You have learned how to cooperate and communicate effectively in these team dynamics; a skill that will be indispensable in your academic and professional life. At the heart of this program was learning about and developing solutions to real-world medical and health problems. I promise that your ability to think critically and work through challenges will be tested countless times over the next few years.

I truly hope that you look back as fondly on your experience in this magnet as I do. This class will always be special to me because most of you started the magnet as I did 3 years ago. I hope you learned a lot about yourself. But your journey doesn't end with high school; in many ways your life is just beginning. So let me offer a bit of advice, or "things I wish I knew when I was your age":

  • No one has it all figured out. Even if you are certain of your career path, be open and accepting of change. Life isn't a straight path. Each diversion might lead to a new opportunity or experience.
  • Take risks. Challenge yourself, even if it's a little scary or uncomfortable.
  • Question everything and remain curious.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help (trust me, I'm still figuring this one out). 
  • Perhaps most importantly, make mistakes. You will make lots of them and it's okay. Use every mistake as an opportunity to learn and grow.
I believe so much in all of you and I can't wait to hear about your journey. Please keep in touch and know that you are always welcome here. Best of luck to all of you.

Ms. Vincent

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