Impact in Perspective: A Nativity Worcester Graduate
The following speech was delivered by Lance Evans (NSW Ignatius Class '06, St. John's High School '10, Emmanuel College '14) at the Nativity School of Worcester's 10th Anniversary Gala Celebration on October 19, 2013 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen my name is Lance Evans and I am a graduate of the Ignatius class, the first graduating class in the school’s history. I am here today to reflect on Nativity over the past ten years. I shall start by saying WOW what an amazing accomplishment let’s give ourselves a round of applause.
Ten years ago a group of individuals came together with a mission to build a house, a house where love can dwell and where all can safely live. It was built upon hopes, dreams and visions driven by the four pillars we all recognize as christianitus, mores, veres, and studium. It was built so that the prophets of education can speak words of knowledge that stand strong and true. So that on this very day we all stand as witnesses to a house where all are welcome.
Every time I visit Nativity it is a journey back in time. As I gaze at the young men sitting in the classroom I tend to put myself back in that seat in 2003 when nativity first opened. I was a young man not knowing what type of investment I was making, but eagerly trusting that it was a good one. Now I see young men just like me, going through the hardships and burdens of life while at the same time maintaining a smile and attitude that is catalyst for success. I see one of the first genuine promises in my life that has given me the power to excel in something that I could not even fathom. I never thought that at my age I would be finishing college or making a difference in my community or even standing here giving this speech, but as a young man nativity gave me the option that many like me don't have, the option to be good and retain one of the most powerful weapons in the world… an education. The option to use my mind in a critical and analytical manner so that I can become a force to be reckoned with, and ultimately become a man that many people as well as myself can be proud of.
Aside from grandmas home cooking Nativity is one of the most important factors in my life because of the dedication from each and every individual from the nativity faculty to the tutors and volunteers. This wouldn't be the case if it wasn't for the strongest woman I know. Thats right, its the woman behind the home cooking.
My grandmother took a major risk when enrolling me into a school that hadn't existed prior to 2003, she saw the mission Nativity was on and decided that nothing but good can come out of this risk, and because of that leap of faith along with hard work and determination I stand tall ten years later representing something that was once an idea, and I love her for that. Not just any kind of love but a gracious type of love that is well deserved. With my mothers touch gone and my fathers lesson never learned I was a burden passed along because of my parents instability which kept my mother on the go and put my father in the ground. She saved me from a road of despair. From an infant to a young man she has watched me blossom and raised me to the best of her ability in a neighborhood infested with violence, drugs, prostitution, and never ending tears that mourn for life lost, and because of her emphasis on education and success, I payed attention to other peoples mistakes so that I learn what not to do which gave me the drive to excel and become more than what is expected. She helped me see that I was living in a problem and Nativity was my answer.
Although it has been about 7-8 years since I have graduated from nativity. This year will be my actual graduation from the twelve year plan that Nativity promised when we first stepped foot into the doors of All Saints. The plan to help all of its students past and present to achieve four measurable goals, which is to achieve at my highest level measured by effort, being accepted into a selective or specialized high school program, graduating from high school in four years, and graduating from a four year college. This house was built ten years ago and I have only seen forward progress. I am privileged and honored to be a part of this mission that has given others as well as myself a way out of being a victim of my own circumstances. Nativity has done exactly what it promised which is to inspire self-discovery, responsibility, spiritual growth, and a lifelong dedication to learning. By attending the Nativity school I found a way out of some of my troubles. Education, Community service, and being a positive role model became my mission. The Road Not Taken by the famous Robert Frost is literally the best way to explain my experience. “two roads diverged in a wood, and I: I took the one less traveled by, and it has made all the difference. Nativity stands as an example to this community, showing us that we have to have faith in ourselves to take the road less traveled by because it can make all the difference, and in those travels to always remember that In order to get where you are, you have to know where you came from and I Lance Evans came from the Nativity School of Worcester.