Excerpts from Abby Reeds '23 and Griffin Mbonda '23 Address - Presented in Chapel on September 12, 2022
Abby: We’re grateful to be with all of you today, starting the year off together, as a community.
Griffin: So far I must say, this cohort has loads of energy and charisma…I don’t know about you, Abby, but I saw people swaying side to side, and more than one actually belting out the lyrics to Sweet Caroline. And of course, almost everyone already knows that at Lakefield, you bang the pews during the chorus for the *bam bam bam*… So returning students, get ready to bring that same energy!
Abby: There is a lot that Griffin and I are excited about this year…This may sound overly keen, but for the past three years, I’ve been collecting small ideas in the notes app on my phone for when I became a Grade 12 and could actually be a part of implementing them. I am so excited to have a chance to take those notes out of my phone and share them.
It’s important to me to make sure I hear your suggestions and support you in making good things happen this year. When I was a Grade 9 or 10, I was too shy and scared of the Grads to share my opinions with them. My goal is to be approachable so you can feel comfortable coming to me. Griffin and I want you to know that you have our support in getting your ideas out there. We will make it a great year, together.
Griffin: What I have always loved most about Lakefield is the camaraderie. We are 425 students coming in from 45 different countries all here to enjoy the Lakefield experience. I remember back to Grade 9 when I was given the opportunity to experience so much at this school. I had mentors in older grades that would help me out at all times, whether it was figuring out how to get to my science class or where to sign up for co-curriculars.
Now as a Grade 12 student, I realise that none of that school spirit can happen without intention. The energy seen at these events doesn’t appear out of thin air, there is a lot that happens behind the scenes. In the same way that the past Grads made our high school experiences what it was, Abby and I recognize that it is now our turn, as Grads. We are committed to bringing the hype this year and continuing to pay it forward.
Abby: During our time at Lakefield, Griffin and I have learned what’s important to us and what we want to give to you this year. We want to be open, approachable, and receptive to your suggestions. We want to give you the same energy and show the same compassion that the Grads before us have displayed. We’ve seen what makes Lakefield so special and so we commit to sharing it with all of you as well.
Abby: In addition to the fun activities and camaraderie that we are all looking forward to, there are a couple of other things that Griffin and I want to highlight this morning. Being part of this community means being part of a family that is respectful towards everyone. We are a group of people who actively choose to be kind to each other.
Griffin: We know that choosing to be kind is not always easy or “cool''. But Lakefield is unique because we make a dedicated effort to be inclusive and respectful of one another—in our classes, on the field, in the houses, everywhere. I like to live according to the expression that “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
Abby: Along with fostering a strong sense of community, Lakefield is also unique because we value authenticity. We are at a place in our lives where societal pressures are at an all-time high and it’s important to be mindful that what we see on TV and social media isn’t reflective of that. I know that I, like many of you, live by strong values. While I aim to give all I can to strengthen our community, I also know it’s important to step back and take care of myself and my wellbeing. We are fortunate to have many resources here at our school, and I hope you all feel comfortable taking advantage of them if needed.
Griffin: Most important…We look forward to spending time with all of you and celebrating another amazing year….at Lakefield College School.
Abby and Griffin: Thank you and let’s make it the best year of our lives.