Convocation Kicks Off Purnell's 2019 - 2020 Year
Purnell School

Purnell's theme this year is resilience. The following reflection on resilience and her time at Purnell was presented by Ariel Graziano '20.

Ariel Graziano '20

President of the Student Council


First I would like to welcome all the new students and faculty to Purnell. I am very excited for this new year to begin and just wanted to thank you all for giving me this opportunity to guide our school throughout this year. I know that this year may bring challenges for many of us but with the strength, courage, and the support of each other, I know we'll come out stronger than before. With that being said, I would like to share some thoughts on this year's theme, Resilience.

Author Jamais Cascio says that "Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is all about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive." The beginning of my first year at Purnell was challenging. Mostly due to my lack of courage and enthusiasm. But as the year went on, I made amazing friendships and became more involved with the school. Once the class Spring elections came, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and run for secretary of the class. It wasn't until someone told me I couldn't run for the position that I made the decision to run for all three positions in class government. I did it not only to prove her wrong but to prove to myself that I could succeed.

When you are put down or are faced with a difficult situation you make a choice. You can choose to give up, you can choose to live in a state of perpetual doubt and fear, or you can try again until you succeed.

In my opinion, Resilience means knowing how to bounce back stronger in spite of setbacks, barriers or limited resources. Resilience is a measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing and able, to overcome obstacles to get it.

This year I challenge you to try something new regardless if you think you're going to succeed or not because failure is required to promote resilience. Try to embrace your mistakes and don't avoid. As Seniors, we have lots of challenges including navigating the college process and then transitioning from high school to the next step in our life. As women, we are still fighting for equal rights in our own ways. As individuals, we are fighting personal battles every day no matter how big or small. We are strong, we are brave, we are resilient!