When Eleanor Roosevelt husband was elected president in 1933, she set a goal for herself. She wanted to redefine the role of First Lady. She did not want to simply host lunches and teas; instead, she wanted to be involved in policy and effect change for the American people. And she did just that. She urged her husband and other officials to appoint women in key government positions. She helped propel her husband’s New Deal agenda. She involved herself with civil rights, and became the first white woman to join the Washington, D.C. chapter of the NAACP. With the approach of World War II, she expanded her influence, helping refugees escaping Europe as the Nazi’s gained control and power. She tackled issues, tasks, and roles no other first lady had ever taken on, shifting the country’s view on what a First Lady can be and do. All of these accomplishments started with her goal. She said “I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.”
For me, summer is about the three R’s. No – I do not mean reading, writing, and arithmetic – the three R’s for summer are rest, rejuvenation, and reflection. Perhaps that third R is most important. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the year: the successes, the challenges, the ups and the downs – and then think about the year ahead. What do I want to accomplish? What were the areas in which I fell short and upon which I want to improve? Where do I want to grow?
This summer, I encourage you to take time for the three R’s. The first, of course, is rest. Spend time with your friends, your family, and taking a deep breath now and then. And my second “r,” rejuvenation will follow from there. Rejuvenate not only your body, but your mind. Exercise your muscles, and your intellect. Talk walks. Read. And that, hopefully, will lead to the final R — reflection. Think about what you have accomplished in the past year, and then think about what you want to accomplish in the 2017-2018 school year.
How can you redefine your role — as a student, as a friend, as a member of our community? Like Mrs. Roosevelt, do more than simply look on. Take control. Set your goals high, work hard, and achieve them. Redefine your roles, and set specific plans to make it happen. Whether it’s a certain grade in a class, reaching out to those in need of friendship, or volunteering. Aim to achieve something next year that you haven’t achieved before—challenge yourself to do something new and to step outside of your comfort zone.
At Brimmer, you are given the support and guidance needed to excel—so take advantage of that. With hard work, dedication, and determination, you can accomplish almost anything. I wish everyone a relaxing, rejuvenating, and reflective summer.