#1StudentNWI: Be the Change, Make your Mark at La Lumiere

#1StudentNWI: Be the Change, Make your Mark at La Lumiere
By: Ruby Congleton-Giancaspro Last Updated: September 14, 2019

La Lumiere’s girls soccer team kicked off the week celebrating Senior Night. Throughout the week, the girls sold Mia Hamm Foundation shirts to raise money and awareness for families in need of bone marrow or cord blood transplant. It is also dedicated to the development of more opportunities for young women to participate in sports.

The girls killed it in the game with freshman, Mia Risser, scoring two goals to finish out the game. They will continue to play their hardest and raise awareness for women empowerment.

Inspiration at La Lu is seen within everyone, and as a team, they cannot be defeated. As a community, we cherish the final times a senior will kick, spike, throw, or shoot a ball. Our seniors leave this place better than when they got here. It’s our obligation to show how thankful we are for them every chance we get.

What’s Coming Up: Spirit Week

This time of year is especially exciting for all at La Lu because they know that Spirit Week is upon us! Just like every other school, we have theme days where the students, faculty, and staff dress up as things such as their favorite movie characters.

The week consists of constant activities brought to us by Connor Fife, the school’s Activities Prefect. We have games like Twinkie eating contests and Izzy Dizzy Soccer. The week concludes with one of the most honored traditions held at La Lu, the Senior Bonfire. Every senior has a torch and they make their way through the woods. When they reach the opening, a bonfire is structure awaits for them to toss their torch in. This symbolizes the light and legacy each and every student leaves behind; big or small every action has an impact.

All underclassmen experience this tradition, but it’s always said that once you’re the senior lighting the fire, it always hits differently. It shows you that you’ve left your mark and soon you’ll be on your way to really change your life. It’s a tradition we carry close to our hearts. The seniors may move on to another chapter in life, but the light they leave always stays within the community.

Student Spotlight: Ben Park

Here at La Lumiere, the one thing we celebrate most is our diversity. The community is enriched with those from all corners of the world. Ben Park, senior, is no different. Originally, Park was born in Seoul, Korea. At the age of ten, he moved to San Diego, CA visiting Korea every summer. 

A question asked a lot around campus is “how did you find out about La Lu?” Ben answers this in saying that a family friend of his father’s son came here and absolutely fell in love with the place. The opportunities and cultural diffusion made the school stick out. Ben was encouraged to come here for his high school career and has been happily pleased with that decision ever since.

Park is a boarder, and for the first two years, he felt as though the school lacked fun things for the boarders to do. He decided to apply to become a prefect to make a positive change for those who boarded. Sure enough, Park landed the position and is now one of the two Residential Life prefects.

Opportunities presented at La Lu bring our students closer to the communities around us, and Park explains this through his duties of being apart of the Reading Buddies. Every Wednesday after school, Park and a group of other students go to Springfield Elementary to read and assist kids with their studies. Even in the worst of moods, Park always found joy in doing this. He knew that he was making a difference in these kids' lives which made it all worthwhile. 

Park recently gave his Senior Chapel and hopes to leave these words as his legacy, “Don’t dwell in the past and don't worry about the uncontrollable future. Once you realize the positive impact you leave on others that’s all that will ever have to matter.” 

Teacher Spotlight: Timothy Earles

Teachers are lights in our life; they guide us to learn and grow. They inspire us to be the best we can be. Teachers have a goal to inspire those who seek guidance. Timothy Earles is the perfect example.

As of right now, he is subbing for Ken Andert, who is on a paternal absence. He has taken over AP Physics and Calculus, but he used to teach Algebra 2 and Algebra 2 Honors. 

Earles came to realize his love for two things: flying and positively impacting others' lives. His mentor at the time encouraged him to take a service trip down to Nicaragua. He looked at it as an opportunity and decided to make the trip. He immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the environment and the way of life in this culture.

“There may have been poverty, but the fact that they don’t feel the need to mask or hide it was inspiring. The issue at hand was out in the open and awaiting change,” said Earles.

 He knew the organization was making real change and pure joy. 

Earles came across La Lumiere through the school’s service trip to Nicaragua. He was offered a job soon after and took it, with the intent of affording to finalize himself through flight school. During the day he would teach math classes and advise his students. During evenings and weekends, he would train to fly and take classes.

Eventually, he was able to earn his commercial pilot license and achieved instructor status. He realized he could really pursue this as a career and chose to be a pilot.

He leaves these wise words, “In the Lion King, the character Rafiki breaks open a coconut and says the words it is time. I took this to mean that once I realized and acknowledged my abilities, I need to go out and pursue my happiness. This is my chance to chase my dreams, and I have to do it.”

Earles encourages and inspires all to never let anything get in the way of your dreams, it's all worth it in the long run.