It has been a BIG year for Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. The Austin American-Statesman wrote an article yesterday highlighting the achievements of one graduating senior, Ana Gonzalez. Ana is one of 52 girls of the first graduating class from Ann Richards School. Even more amazing is the fact that all 52 girls have been accepted into college. Their success has not come easily, and many students struggled with the rigorous coursework, with a little more than half the girls in Ana's class completing the program.
The young women who will walk the stage to graduation had several contributing factors to their success. We had the opportunity to speak with these inspiring students at their morning assembly last fall, and again at Career Day, and these are the themes we shared with the students:
Ana and her peers battled the rollercoaster of school. Their resilience was their ability to cope with stress and adversity. Resilience does not take away stress, but it does give one the tools to deal with it effectively. Some are born with resilience and others must learn it.
When one's own strength and resilience is not enough, community is there to take up the slack. Ana and her peers were supported by each other. They went through all the projects, assignments, tests, reading and college applications together. They were also supported by the teachers and adminstrators. Together they created a family for one another.
Through it all, these young women developed the traits of self-compassion. They learned that no one is without imperfections. We fall and we get up. We treat ourselves with respect and kindness. And, we are mindful that all emotions are temporary and fleeting. While one day may seem hopeless, the next day may bring something new.
We congratulate these graduates and all the other graduates in Austin, Texas! You have all done something amazing!