Astronaut Anne McClain and students share stories of Gonzaga Prep's impact on their lives (Oct 2019)
Students, alumni, family, and friends of Gonzaga Prep filled Scarpelli Gym for the annual Financial Aid Luncheon last October to hear astronaut Lt. Col. Anne McClain tell just a few of many awe-inspiring stories of her journey to the International Space Station and back. Student speakers shared their gratitude for the impact a Prep education has had on them and how Fair Share has made it possible.
At the Luncheon, McClain affirmed her connected-ness to Spokane. “I grew up in the same place many of you did. Sat in the same classrooms, had some of the same teachers,” as many listening in the audience. She acknowledged her roots that are firmly planted in Spokane, where her mother and stepfather still live.
She showed a photo of her 3-year-old self smiling on her first day of preschool. “That was about the same time I started telling my mom I wanted to be an astronaut.” The 3-year-old smiling in that picture, she said, is the same as the one smiling in another: one taken when she’d just reached orbit.
In that photo, “for the first time, nothing stood in the way of me and my dream,” she said.
Students who spoke at the luncheon shared their own aspirations and thanked those in attendance for their support of Fair Share.
Khaleia Assih credits her Prep education for her goal of becoming a nurse practitioner, inspired in part by teacher and athletic trainer Chris Hawley.
Tony Rupp reflected on his gratitude for the Prep community for believing in him when enrolling was an opportunity he didn’t think he deserved.
Xzandre Jean-Francois share how he the culture of service at Prep has nourished his soul through retreats, tutoring, Knights of the Leash, and the Margins program. He is glad for the opportunity to be surrounded by classmates who have the same academic goals and for the community that demands you take an active role in education. He recognized one of his teachers, Mrs. Christopher, for being “the best example of the light that I want to be in the world.”