One of our goals in Worthington Schools is to offer an education that creates a well-rounded group of young people who are ready to take on life’s challenges in the classroom and in the world around them. In working to make this goal a reality we partner with the Delaware Area Career Center and over 100 of our juniors and seniors elect to participate in a variety of different programs at DACC.
Last week I was honored to be able to attend the DACC senior completion ceremony to recognize our students. One of our students, Thomas Worthington Senior Ryan Gross, was chosen to address the graduates. Ryan studied Law Enforcement at DACC and plans to enter the military after high school. After hearing Ryan speak I’m certain that he’s well prepared for future success.
I think sometimes as parents we wonder about allowing our students to access the different options provided in this school district. Ryan’s experience is instructive in that it’s most important to find the right match between program and student. I can’t do Ryan’s talk justice via summary so I’d ask you to take a few minutes and read his speech. He certainly made Worthington proud!
“When I first saw the opportunity to give this speech, I looked at the question, “ How has the Delaware Area Career Center changed your life?” my mind began to race,. There’s no true way to fully explain how it has impacted my life, the impact is too great. However as I begin to depart from DACC I will try and explain for everyone how it has.
In my first two years of high school, I was a quiet kid sitting in the back of the classroom, hood up, head down on my desk, my bookbag overflowing with notes and various papers. Binders stuffed full of worksheets that I would never see again. I said about two words every day, I did not really have any friends, never really talked to anybody, and I would eat lunch by myself. And when I got home, it was no different. I would sit in my basement, playing video games. I wouldn’t go outside at all. In 4 years, I changed schools 4 times. Each time I moved I was hoping it would be different, maybe I could make friends, maybe I can try some sports? So I tried football, playing football was fun, it was lots of fun and I enjoyed it, I was even a team Captain, however I wanted something better. I knew that I could do better. When I came to Thomas Worthington, the opportunity came up to go to the Delaware Area Career Center for the Law Enforcement program, I will always remember the day when they came and gave a presentation. I saw the Law Enforcement program and knew that this is what I was going to do. I had always planned on enlisting in the Army, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to prepare myself for the military. I had my application in the very next day. I was the very first applicant for the Law Enforcement program. I was extremely happy when I found out that I got accepted into the program. I knew that this is what I’ve wanted all along. Now I don’t really have time to tell every thing that has happened in the past 2 years, I would literally talk all day.
However if you fast forward 2 years, I am, organized, I still have all my notes from junior year in my binder on my bookshelf, my book bag is clean, my boots are polished, my hair is clean cut, I have a life plan, I know what I want to do. I am in good physical shape, because our class had deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff’s office come in and make us do physical fitness. With every push up, we look at them with rage in your eyes just wanting them to make it stop. But when the push ups become easier and easier, they’re not really becoming easier, we’re just getting better. We realize that they are not doing it to make us hate them, they do it to make us better, to improve ourselves, because it all starts with physical fitness. Thanks to them, I can now pass my Army Physical Fitness Test with ease. I am a leader, I stepped up, not afraid to make mistakes. As a class leader, if anyone needed help, I was right there. I helped everyone and anyone. If I saw someone in need of help I stopped to help. A classmate and I were even awarded a certificate of recognition from the Delaware County Prosecutor, for being the first responder to three vehicle crashes this school year. I also joined the Ambassador program, the same program which got me interested into DACC. I traveled from school, to school giving speeches to middle schoolers, high schoolers and parents. Staying late at night talking to parents about the program. Trying to inspire and motivate others, not even necessarily to get them to join the program or the school. But, motivate them to find something they find interesting, something they want to do. It is important to me to give back to a program that has given so much to me. When the public speaking gets easier and easier it’s not actually getting easier, I am just getting better. Before I joined the Career Center I never would have been able to stand up here and give this speech to you today, I would have never had the courage. Today, I can do it with ease.
Today, I am a completely different person , in a good way. I am who I want to be, I am myself. Now many people when they are about to leave high school say things like “Heck Yeah!” Or “It’s finally over….” But I, I wish I had more time. I wish I could go through it all again. Coming to the Delaware Area Career Center has changed my life in more ways than one speech can ever explain. It has given me the skills to succeed in life, it has given me the experience and training to set myself aside from everyone else, the connections to begin my career, and the friends to last a lifetime. It has made me realize that time goes quickly, so find something you want to do in life, chase your dreams and don’t let anything stop you.”
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent