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Class of 2016

Checking in with the Class of 2016

Recently we connected with a few of De La Salle's 2016 Graduates to see how they are doing in their first year of University. We wanted to know things like how they were enjoying their choice of Program and University; besides academics, what have they learned about being a University student; how they are continuing to live the Lasallian Mission; how well they believe Del prepared them for the post-secondary experience; and, any advice they would give to Del's current Senior Students.

What we were happy to find out is that thus far University has been a very positive and exciting experience for our Grads. They all feel very grateful for the lessons they learned from their Grade 12 teachers; and although they acknowledge that University is no walk in the park, they believe they are more prepared than their classmates because of their Del education.

These five students have allowed us to share their reflections and experiences with all of you in an effort to help you through the preparation and transition from De La Salle to University life.

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Philip Amador
Media, Performance and Design, School of the Arts -York University

Years at Del: Original 5
Teams: Track & Field, Cross Country
Extra-curriculars: Theatre De La Salle -Lead Actor (Gr. 8-12)
University Scholarships: York University Automatic Entrance Scholarship, Student Life Award

Enter to Learn: As a student at De La Salle, personally, it was about finding who I was. If I wanted to do well, it was fully up to me. So when I slacked off and didn't study, I learned that I couldn't hope for a good mark. I had to earn it. That being said, going to school should not just be about what a student obtains from being in a class room. It should be about developing people skills and forming relationships that have integrity, not just meaningless ones. It's about becoming a person who is notable and respectable.

Leave to Serve: After I stepped out of the hollow gates of De La Salle, the world became larger to me; yet, at the same time it got much smaller. I am only one person, one being, in this colossal-sized world. 'Leave to Serve' has many different meaning: It means to make an impact with the time that you are given, while staying humble and not forgetting that no one person is better then another. That being said, everyone is faced with adversity. At times we need to come together and help one another out. Being selfish and uncharitable isn't what being a Lasallian is about. It's about living a life that is meaningful. I have no right to say what a meaningful life is but, I believe, it starts with humility.

Most Memorable Moment: I was in grade 8 when I first gained the courage to walk on stage and perform. At the time, I didn't understand the magnitude of what I was doing, as I do now. It was that pivotal moment that brought me to where I am today. If I hadn't auditioned to be in the play, If I wasn’t cast as Simeon, in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, I would never have discovered my natural aptitude to be an actor. So being apart of Theatre De La Salle is by far my most memorable moment at Del.

Domenique Barbaro
Honors Health Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

Years at Del: 8-12
Teams: Track & Field
Special Programs: English and Math Reach Ahead, Rome Summer Program, AP Senior Biology
Extra-curriculars: Student Executive -Head Girl, Ballet, Mackenzie Health Hospital Volunteer

Enter to Learn: “Enter to Learn” is the part of the school’s motto that emphasizes the will and desire an individual needs to possess in order to prove that they are truly ready to take part on their journey. If you have a confident mind set on your abilities and a positive outlook on your life, Del teaches you and guides you the rest of the way and allows that mentality to lead you to success. Entering Del means you are both eager and willing to learn and that is the first step to achieving your greatest goals.

Leave to Serve: Del does a great job at emphasizing the necessity to always remain generous and give back to the community in any way you can. “Leave to Serve” is the portion of the school’s motto that clearly demonstrates the greater goal to be achieved once you have left De La Salle. Del has allowed me to see that generosity and use of your own skills to benefit others is truly the greatest accomplishment. Del has taught me the importance of community. To have been immersed in such a supportive and diverse group of people helped to nourish my education and add an element of unique qualities to my character that I would not have achieved on my own.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del was my first day of school. I remember quite clearly being extremely nervous as I walked down the main hallway, yet something I will never be able to forget are the hugs and welcoming smiles I got upon arriving at my first homeroom class in grade eight. Fellow students helped me prepare my locker, taught me how to use my lock, and led me to my first class. I was so grateful to be so welcomed into a community so quickly. I will never forget that day.

Anthony Bozzo
Lassonde School of Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

Years at Del: Grade 7-12
Extra-curricular: Student Executive -Treasurer/Secretary, Math Club, Science Club, Annual Blood Donor and CN Tower Climber for WWF

Enter to Learn: Del for me is a legacy; my dad graduated from De La Salle (1986) as did my uncle and cousins, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Immediately upon entering, I acquired a huge sense of pride for our school and will keep that with me always. I credit my success over the last six years to phenomenal, dedicated teachers, who challenged my abilities and worked me hard. I came to understand quite early on that “effort, equals results”, and I plan to use this philosophy for the rest of my life.

Leave to Serve: Several of De La Salle’s teachers were an integral part of my development, and more importantly, were instrumental in me discovering my true aptitudes. I will forever be in their debt. Therefore, in leaving our great institution, I will keep up a good work ethic and hope that I too can positively influence individuals to do good things and have others believe that we all have potential. Knowledge is to be shared and true Lasallians “teach” through their actions.

Important Lessons: Simply, time management. Don't put off for tomorrow, what you can do for today.

Gaspare Castagna
Engineering Science, University of Toronto

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Teams: Cross-Country, Track & Field
Extra-curriculars: Del Wind Ensemble, St. Francis Table, Operation Wallacea Hounduras, Taekwondo, Sailing, Violin, FNE Explorers
University Scholarships: President's Entrance Scholarship

Enter to Learn: I decided to attend Del because of the school’s dedication to academic excellence. However, this is only one aspect of a complete education. It is equally essential that a strong foundation in knowledge be combined with an extensive formation of character. Del has done precisely this. I am confident that I will be able to continue in the habits and to grow in the knowledge I have acquired throughout my life. Del teaches students how to learn.

Leave to Serve: With this great gift of an excellent education comes the irrefutable responsibility to use what has been learned. Service, sacrifice, and duty are three pillars upon which our society stands strong. If we are not ready to place the needs of others, especially those of the poor and vulnerable, above our own, then how shall universal order, justice, and prosperity exist? Charity is the greatest virtue, and my time at Del has greatly reinforced this belief within me.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment is when we won Gold at the New York Heritage Festival in 2015. The Del Wind Ensemble isn’t good...we are devastatingly good!

Anthony Cundari
Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University

Years at Del: Grade 7-12
Special Programs: AP Physics, AP Biology
Extra-curriculars: Student Executive Head Boy, Math Club, Engineering Club

Enter to Learn: I think my time at Del gave me a better understanding of what the term “learn” really means. Learning is something that takes place all around us and is not confined to only academic knowledge in a classroom. Rather, learning is a process by which we come to understand the world we live in and all the things that come along with it. To see learning as a way for me to broaden my horizons and gain a greater understanding of the environment around me, instead of just the simple acquisition of a piece of information, is the greatest lesson I have learned at Del as it forever changed the way I look at the world around me.

Leave to Serve: Del can easily be summed up in one word, “family;” and during my time here, I have taken part in countless activities and different projects that all look to strengthen the Lasallian family that resides in the school. However, as I prepare to graduate from Del, this has gained a whole new meaning as it showed me the importance of the people and different “families” that I see around me. I learned that these are things that are bigger than myself and by serving the other people around me for the betterment of our common community, I have the opportunity to make a contribution to something important that will live on after my time here.

Abigail De Fulviis
Strategic Design and Management, The New School: Parsons School of Design

Years at Del: Grade 7-12
Teams: Track & Field
Extra-curriculars: Athletic Council, Prom Committee, University of Toronto Track & Field Junior Blues
University Scholarships: Merit Scholarship of $10,000/year for 4 years

Enter to Learn: This motto has taught me that as a young woman, education can happen not only within the classroom, but outside too, something that De La Salle has been able to offer to me as a student. I hope to embody this motto with me as I carry forward not only into university, but for the rest of my life as well, and always continue to learn no matter where I go. Life is a constant learning process, and Del has taught me that there is not only always room for improvement, but also always more to learn.

Important Lessons: The most important lesson that Del has taught me that I will take with me to university is that whatever I wish to pursue, I must give it my all. Del has always expected nothing but the best from its students, whether that is academically, athletically, or in other extra-curriculars. As high school comes to a close, and my life really starts to begin, I hope to take everything that I have learned from the past six years with me. I know no matter where I go, who I am with, and what I do, I will have a Lasallian education and background that has prepared me like nothing else for whatever is in store for me.

Most Memorable Moment: If I had to choose, my most memorable moments happened during activities like Sharelife Day, Terry Fox, and school field trips. Although Del is known for its high standards and academic focus, the moments where we came together as a school stand out the most for me. That is when I felt most Lasallian as well as most at home. Raising money for charities, getting dressed up in ridiculous outfits for Terry Fox, and travelling with my classmates and teachers, are memories that are priceless to me and are something you can only find at Del.

Thomas Dodig
Finance, Mendoza College of Business -University of Notre Dame

Years at Del: Original 5
Teams: Badminton (4x champion), Swimming (Captain and OFSAA Medalist), Basketball, Track & Field, Baseball, Cross Country
Extra-curriculars: Athletic Council

Enter to Learn: My interpretation of 'Enter to Learn' is that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing and no matter who you are, there is always an opportunity to learn. I didn’t come to Del to be a B-class student. I came to Del because I wanted to exceed expectations, I wanted to be the best of the best and I feel that is the experience that I got at the College. I am going to embody this in my next chapter because I am going to do it all over again. I am going to university to be the best I can be, and I can only do that by learning more and more every day.

Leave to Serve: The saying 'Leave to Serve’ to me means that we always have to help other people out, no matter what. We are all humans and we need to have each other’s back. I will embody this in my next chapter by continuing to volunteer every year and trying to give back to the community.

Important Lessons: Every year after midterms I would get my February report card, and at the bottom, as always, Mr. Pupo would comment “Persevere.” Persevering is by far the most important thing I learned at Del, it taught me that no matter how bad things seem, if you persevere something positive will come of it. Del has always been tough academically, but persevering made it all worth it. When I first started swimming in Grade 9, I thought it was really hard and debated quitting because I wasn’t that great. I persevered and ended up placing 3rd in the province in my grade 12 year. I debated dropping some courses in grade 11, such as physics, because they were really tough. I persevered, like Mr. Pupo reminded me on my report card, and I finished with an 84% in the class.

Elizabeth Frangos
Social Sciences, Munk School of Global Affairs -University of Toronto

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Special Programs: Reach Ahead, AP, Heritage Festival, Rome Summer School
Extra-curriculars: Theatre De La Salle -Lead Actress, De La Salle Wind Ensemble, DECA

Enter to Learn: Coming to Del, not only did I receive a fulfilling education, but a meaningful experience. As a student, you are encouraged to use each day as an opportunity to learn and flourish, guided by the dedicated teachers who’s passion for their vocation to educate inspires each individual student's potential. I hope to keep with me the profound desire to learn and constantly strive towards my best self.

Leave to Serve: As a Lasallian, you are reminded of your responsibility towards others, the embodiment of the Christian faith and compassion. The word charity not only refers to helping others, but is the theological virtue of love. Seven years at Del have allowed me to fulfill this Lasallian teaching, whether it was fundraising for MS, making care packages for the homeless, or walking for Terry Fox. I will continue to give the best of myself to others, enjoying the satisfaction that accompanies giving back to the community.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moments at Del have been made by performing on stage. My last four years at Del have been largely influenced by my time participating in Theatre De La Salle’s annual productions, an opportunity I am most grateful for.

Laura Holman
Kinesiology, University of Toronto

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Teams: Hockey, Soccer, Cross Country
Extra-curriculars: De La Salle Wind Ensemble, Flute Choir, Competitive Hockey, Volunteer Soccer Coach

Enter to Learn: Entering De La Salle was a decision I made for myself because I knew the experiences that I would have here would prepare me for many of life’s experiences to come. I knew the academic environment would be challenging, but would also allow me to reach my full potential. Not only have I learned a lot in the many subject areas I have studied, but I have also learned a lot about myself, mainly my strengths and weaknesses and how best to overcome them. I have also learned what it means to be a Lasallian and a strong member of my community, which is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Leave to Serve: Throughout my years at Del I have truly embraced the meaning of community. We leave the De La Salle community and are expected to carry the values and virtues we have developed into the world community. We are meant to share our goodness with the world and Del has made it easy for me to use the values I have learned to serve the world with compassion and selflessness throughout the rest of my life.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable experience at Del was being a part of the senior girls hockey team. I looked forward to every game, early morning practices and even bus rides. I was able to develop bonds with other girls who shared my interest, as well as strengthen my leadership and collaborative skills. I was always laughing and having fun no matter the outcome of our games and those experiences are ones I will never forget.

Helen Kosc
Sociology, Psychology and Criminology, Queen's University

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Special Programs: AP American History, AP Human Geography, AP English Literature, AP Language and Composition
Extra-curriculars: President of De La Salle Debate Society, Senior Editor of Oakleaves Newspaper, Lasallian Youth Ambassador, Piano Student at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Coordinator of Children’s Liturgy of the Word at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Competitive Dancer, National Lifeguard and Swim Instructor
University Scholarships: Queen's Principal's Scholarship

Enter to Learn: Learning at De La Salle College is more than the mere memorization of course material; it is the instilling of life-long values into the minds and hearts of Lasallian students. Brother Domenic reminds us that education in the Lasallian tradition is about “how to make a life and not simply how to make a living.” Through the excellent example set by our founder and the guidance of our dedicated teachers, Del has encouraged me to pursue intellectual and spiritual excellence – allowing me to learn about myself and become confident in my abilities in the process. As a result, moving forward, I will always remain driven to reach my full potential, and, most importantly, I have within me a personal responsibility to share the components of my Lasallian education in society at local, national and international levels.

Leave to Serve: De La Salle has taught me the importance of the virtues of charity, humility and prudence, as well as stimulated within me a sense of responsibility to share these virtues in all of my future endeavors. Our 21st century world is in desperate need of Lasallian values and the services that those of faith can offer it; I am proud to say that I feel confident in the abilities of the graduating class of 2016, and those to come, to take on the most challenging injustices, because De La Salle has prepared us to do so.

Kathryn Manarin
Business Administration, Wilfred Laurier University

Years at Del: Grade 7-12
Teams: Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Rep Hockey and Rep Soccer outside of Del
Extra-curriculars: Band, Heritage Music Festival, Student Executive, Habitat for Humanity, Guide Dogs of Canada

Enter to Learn: When I came to Del in Grade Seven, I was welcomed into a community I wasn’t particularly familiar with. Changing schools was a big step, with a lot to learn; academically and socially. At times the academic workload seemed impossible. But eventually, the heavy load became the new norm. My teachers raised the bar and I am proud that I accepted the challenge! I am absolutely confident that I will be able to handle the expectations of University due to the preparation I have received at Del.

Leave to Serve: The various experiences that Del has exposed me to throughout the years are something I could not have received anywhere else. Most people will tell you, “other schools talk the talk, but at Del, they walk the walk.” Whether it is academic, community, athletic, or charity, Del infused my education with a spiritual base that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I may have come for the academics and athletics, but I am leaving with a greater sense of confidence, empathy, and community spirit.

Most Memorable Moment: My most memorable moment at Del is making every athletic team since Grade Seven. Not only the MVP and Athlete of the Year Awards, but, more importantly, meeting my best friends on the team, having my teachers as my coaches and mentors, and feeling the pride of being a Del girl, now and forever.

Anthony Mastromarini
Medical Sciences & Ivey HBA Dual Degree with Scholar’s Electives, University of Western Ontario

Years at Del: Grade 7-12
Teams: At Del: U14 Hockey, U14-Sr. Soccer, Alpine Skiing, Tennis Club; Outside of Del: Hockey (GTHL, TNCHL), Soccer, Swimming
Extra-curriculars: Lasallian Youth Leadership Initiative (Founder and Head), Lasallian Youth Assembly, Salesian Leadership Retreat, Student Executive, Peer Tutor, National Society of High School Scholars, Kidney CARE International Volunteer, Holy Rosary Parish Project Hope Committee Member
University Scholarships: $30,000 Western National Scholarship, $10,000 Western Continuing Admission Scholarship, $36,000 Queen’s Chancellor’s Scholarship, $8,000 Queen’s Principal’s Scholarship, $1,000 (USD) NSHSS Ambassador Scholar Award

Enter to Learn: What is truly exceptional about the Lasallian teaching style is that it is multi-dimensional, with a spiritual and moral emphasis that resounds with the utterance of “Let us remember…” at the commencement of each class. It is a sublime reminder to students and staff of the culture that extends past the bricks and mortar of any Lasallian institution to bridge individuals from across the globe. And it is this universal and just nature of the Lasallian mission that invigorates students, impassions teachers, and invokes the return of proud alumni. Though, at university, I will be delving into my two favourite fields of study – such as by examining the implications of BACE1 in Alzheimer’s disease while concurrently learning how to trade in the FX market – I will always cherish the lessons, memories, and sense of community that defined my learning experience while at Del.

Leave to Serve: It is a truism that proper action is predicated upon a sound education; but the endeavours of education are frivolous if not succeeded by proper action. Del manages to embody the ideal by having a rigorous academic curriculum complemented by countless opportunities to contribute back to the community – whether that be preparing food at St. Francis Table or even volunteering as a peer tutor. At Del, the culture of charity that imbues every aspect of a student’s educational experience ensures that they do not simply graduate as someone who has fulfilled the stipulations of the Ontario government, but as someone who can be a proactive and morally-responsible member of society – a true Lasallian.

Important Lessons: Although the many teachers I have had over the years have imparted to me a spectrum of knowledge, the lessons that will remain most indelible are those that were experienced outside of the classroom. For instance, I firmly credit Del for learning how to play soccer in dress shoes and a starchy school uniform – an elusive skill that I’m sure I can leverage in future post-work pick-up games. But don’t kid yourself, this lesson’s profundity goes well beyond its supposed value. In a school deemed academically challenging, it can only be described as uplifting to be surrounded by a population of students that is fervent, empathetic, and perseverant. And being a part of that community, one can only expect to develop these same laudable qualities – not being stifled by the barrage of work, but celebrating peace and happiness during times of tension.

Most Memorable Moment: It is no exaggeration that my six years at Del have been riddled with many fond memories, but I maintain that a defining moment of my Del career was when I decided to enroll in Brother Domenic’s Grade 10 Italian class. Being of Italian descent, I felt innately compelled…and, apparently, so did all of Woodbridge. But a conventional language class it was not – how could it be with Brother at the helm? Sure, we mulled over the grammar, conjugations, and pronunciations; but you knew this wasn’t always the case when “Fratelli d’Italia” could be heard reverberating throughout the hallways. Plus, the perks were rather enviable: we were availing ourselves of the increased access to the Brothers’ Mansion pool table and indulging in the occasional, gratuitous “Caf Cookie”. However, what was truly special was that Brother resurrected an archaic teaching style that managed to pique your parents’ nostalgia whenever you regaled to them the day’s happenings. It was unique, animated, and enthralling, and the prodigious laughter that results from reminiscing about any of it is a testament to the memories and enjoyment that came of that class.

Michael Pezzetta
Bachelor of Commerce -Sports Administration (SPAD), Laurentian University

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Teams: Senior Hockey team (CISAA Champions), Track team (multiple CISAA record holder)
Extra-curriculars: OHL Hockey Player for the Sudbury Wolves
University Scholarships: Four year, all-in scholarship courtesy of the Ontario Hockey League

Enter to Learn: Entering into Del I was still a young man with a lot to learn about my faith and where I belonged. I was eager to tackle new challenges and learn new things along with my fellow peers. As I grew as a Lasalian student, I learned what it meant to truly embody a “Lasalian lifestyle.” This allowed me to become a better person. The lessons I learned from my teachers and fellow classmates have answered many questions I had entering the school and left me in a place excited to tackle life’s challenges. I plan to use these lessons in the next chapter of my life by hopefully touching the lives of others and giving back to the community.

Leave to Serve: After finishing four years at DeI, I have tackled so many tasks both academically and spiritually that I can confidently leave the school in a position ready to face life’s hardest challenges. The lessons I have learned have taught me to always help others and to keep God as an important figure in my life. I have learned what it means to be a part of the “Lasallian” family. This family is much larger than just the students in our school, it embodies everyone who needs our help. Del has helped me to see clearly what it takes to truly make a difference in society and these lessons are priceless.

Important Lessons: Having had to leave Del for part of my grade 11 and 12 years to play in the OHL, has helped me to understand the impact Del had on my life. Going to a public high school in Sudbury helped me truly realize how much I loved Del and the Del family. We are such a tight-knit community at the College and this is something I didn’t experience when I was away. The teachers want everyone to become better people both academically and spiritually. I can honestly say Del is probably the best school a student could attend, either as a student who doesn’t know any of their classmates or one who already has friends attending the school, because when you leave you will have a huge family that you can tackle the world with. Del gave me this family and I will forever be grateful for that.

Ryan Pinto
Commerce, Smith School of Business -Queen's University

Years at Del: Grade 8-12
Special Programs: Reach Ahead Math and English, AP Micro and Macro Economics, AP Geography, AP English
Teams: Soccer, Hockey, Track & field, Baseball
Extra-curriculars: DECA business club, House Captain, Habitat for Humanity, fundraiser efforts with an orphanage in Kenya

Enter to Learn: Del has helped me to grow as a person in more ways then I could have hoped for over the last five years. Del’s reputation lies in its academics, but it is the character, attitude and family Del has given me which will stick with me far beyond high school.

Leave to Serve: We are now Lasallians, and with this title comes an understanding that we are part of a community who gives back. More Del Alumni stay involved with the school then any other high school I know of because of the values of charity and humility we learnt from day one. Despite pursuing other goals in the future, I know that I will remain connected to the Lasallian family and values.

Important Lessons: The most important lesson that I will take from Del to University is that you cannot cheat hard work. In the long run I now know that hard work is more valuable than intelligence or talent, and I am grateful that I learned these skills of diligence and patience at Del.

Jessica Principe
Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

Years at Del: Grade 9-12
Special Programs: AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, Math Reach Ahead, Rome Summer School
Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball
Extra-curriculars: Scleroderma Society of Ontario Fundraiser Organizer, Math Tutor, Rep Basketball Team

Enter to Learn: When I first entered Del in grade 9, I was unsure of how greatly the school would influence me. After 4 years, I definitely have learned a lot, not only academically, but also spiritually and emotionally. The lessons that I have learned at Del will carry with me for the rest of my life. Not only will I remember to always keep my socks pulled up, stand when someone enters the room, and to keep my phone on silent, but I will also remember to treat others with respect, to never give up no matter how hard it can get or how many times I might fail, and to always look at the positives of a situation and make the best of it. These are just a small handful of the things that I have learned at Del.

Important Lessons: After four years of attending Del, I have learned many lessons. One lesson that I will take to university is that procrastination, although may seem like a good idea at the time, is definitely not the key to success. More importantly, Del has taught me to always be compassionate towards others and that kindness and sympathy go a long way. The true meaning of being a Lasallian is not just how many debate championships we have won, but how many peoples lives we have changed through our multitude of volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, the blood drive, St. Francis Table, and the list goes on.

Filbert Yung
Forensic Science, University of Toronto

Years at Del: Original 5
Special Programs: Reach Ahead Math and English, AP Physics, AP Calculus
Extra-curriculars: De La Salle Cadet Corps, Wind Ensemble, Jazz band, Blood Drive, Duke of Edinburgh Award, University of Toronto Fencing Team
University Scholarships: University of Toronto Mississauga Entrance Award

Enter to Learn: This motto is a true testament of my experience at Del. The things I have learned during my experiences with the people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve had, and the lessons I’ve learned are truly unique and inspiring. I have learned to keep an open mind and persevere through challenges that face me. My many experiences at Del have given me a love of learning that I will take with me as I embark on my new chapter in university.

Leave to Serve: After leaving Del, it is up to us to give back to our global community. It is our duty to bring positive change as we begin our new adventures by embodying and inspiring the Lasallian motto. This motto does not stop after graduation, but carries on throughout our lives with whoever we meet, wherever we go. This reminder of service towards others will definitely influence the decisions I make in the future, to support and help those around me as a community.