April Scott Read, Psy.D., started her Jan. 26th Crest Ceremony speech to Culver Girls Academy students with a quote from Maya Angelou:
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
A 2001 CGA graduate, Read asked, “Who wants to be courageous at 14? You want to be sheltered, loved and nurtured. That’s Culver Academy.”
Read said she knows first-hand how it felt coming to Culver. “Of course, I was excited to attend Culver but there were personal adjustments I had to make, overcome, and accept in order to excel here.”
Becoming more open to meeting new people, learning how to do laundry, and understanding the “true repercussions” of not cleaning your room before leaving for class were part of the experience.
“Learning how to effectively manage my time, that’s huge,” Read said. “At Culver, I learned if you are early then you are on time. If you are on time then you are late and if you are late that is unacceptable. I learned that the one thing in life you cannot buy is time – so value every second and make it work for you.”
Being accountable and being held accountable for your actions was another lesson. “When you make a commitment you are expected to follow through no matter what obstacles arise and you expect others to do the same,” she added.
“For a teenager, all of these are tools of courage; it’s your portal into the world. Doing this will make you productive, hardworking citizens who, hopefully, change the world.”
Adjusting to life at Culver helped her adapt to life outside the campus. Change will always come. You must be open to change, able to adapt and “most importantly, flourish in this new environment in order to be successful,” she said.
Learning to adapt at Culver eased her transition through college and taught her “to be fearless both in my personal and professional life.”
She told the girls and the rest of the audience that the CGA Crest holds true to its meaning “beyond these walls.” Each quadrant provides a look into the friendships that last a lifetime; the knowledge and leadership you gain to become confident and excellent leaders; how you will continue to make ethical decisions based on the honor code; and continue your commitment to service. “Your actions and standards will empower others to succeed.”
She added the girls receiving their blazers with the crests should “realize it’s as close to your heart. This symbolizes what Culver means to you and what you mean to Culver. Eventually, the blazer will come off, but the Crest will forever remain close to your heart, as it does mine.”
And she reminded all the CGA students that “at Culver, you stand for something – courage, honor, and respect.”