When times are tough or tragedy strikes in the United States, the people of this country produce the greatest assets which we never proclaim. That asset is the giving of time, treasure and talent to those who are different from us, those we have never met and those we may never know. In Anna Quindlen's "A Quilt of a Country" she states, "that the clinging to ethnicity, in background and custom, has undermined the concept of unity." She goes on to say that even being a mongrel nation, in times of tragedy, this country has one spirit.
Mr. Herman's freshman English classes proved Quindlen's claim in "A Quilt of a Country" by raising money for those they do not know, who are different from themselves in culture, rituals and ethnicity, but have been overcome by the horrific hurricane Harvey. The classes together raised $256.30 to be sent in relief to people afflicted by the storm.
Students fill the west side of the gym waiting to listen to outstanding speakers from Nebraska. The 5th annual American Spirit Summit was held at Northwest High school at 8am on Friday September 1st. Three speakers known from all around Nebraska showed up to give the students an overview of life. Many explained how no matter what your going through if you life integrity and motivation can take you far.
Senior, Tony Lee, 2018 Student Body President started off the morning with an introduction. The Northwest color guard presented during the Pledge of Allegiance. The first speaker was Tom Osborne. Osborne was the head coach of the University of Nebraska from 1973-1997.
“Character is the most important thing about you, yet it’s a choice. Money, friends, and popularity will come and go, but you will always have character.” Explained Osborne.
Osborne talked about his team from 1994 and 1995, when Nebraska won the national championship. Each player had great character and motivation which helped build the team to success. Tom Osborne announced that life is short for some people and that to make the most of it. He told the students about how great Tommy Frazier and Brook Berrings was. Frazier and Berrings had to compete to see who was better to earn the starting spot in the 1995 season.
Osborne explained how Brook Berrings tragic death made an impact on so many peoples life. Berrings passed in a airplane accident a week before he was going to be drafted to the NFL.
“What do you want someone to say about you at your funeral one day, be that person” said Osborne.
The second speaker was Nebraska’s Attorney General, Doug Peterson. Peterson talked about his childhood. His father passed away when he was a child and his mother worked a lot. Peterson never had any encouragement growing up. He started to go down the wrong pass.
Peterson told his story to the students and explained how one saying from a family friend changed everything. Later in high school, multiple teachers has told him he needs to start applying himself. One of his teachers even told him they believe in him, which then gave him a push of motivation. Now, Peterson is an Attorney General for Nebraska! With a little encouragement, support and motivation you can do anything.
Last speaker was Mark Leflore from the Douglas County Youth Center. Leflore explained his job at the center and what goes on inside. The Youth Center, also known as (DCYC), has a school, library, and a gym. Workers encourage students to better themselves as individuals.
Volunteers come in and bring ‘junk food’ like pizza or burgers for the students who earned a reward. Volunteers shows support to the students who don’t have regular visitors. The Youth Center encourages visitors to show support to the student, family and friends 18 years old and older can visit. Leflore showed the students a PowerPoint that he shows the families who come to the youth center and gave them a virtual tour.