Each year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the senior class leaves behind a gift, a legacy left in their name to honor their time at St. Thomas Aquinas. Over the years, STA has received many different tributes- an outdoor fountain, brick pathways, facility updates, etc. The Class of 2012, however, left behind a different sort of gift, one that was meant to keep on giving long after their tassels stopped swinging.
The “Living Legacy” was established as a way to celebrate the real meaning of being a St. Thomas Aquinas student. “Our class wanted our senior gift to be something that would continue to support the St. Thomas Aquinas community for years to come,” remembered Lucas Gabriel ’12. “It was meant to be a way to carry Saints Pride forward."
The Living Legacy Scholarship invites students to write a one-page essay outlining how they see themselves and the school as a “light in darkness” to others. Today, we share some of the applicants’ thoughts and let them serve as a window into 197 Dover Point Rd.
“Students go out of their way here to help other students.”
“I came here from a public school and it was hard to leave my friends; this was my darkness. But as a new member of the football team, I met so many new people. When I got to St. Thomas Aquinas on the first day of school, I already had a bunch of friends.”
“Everyone should strive to be a light in darkness. The most impressive feat I have witnessed in our school was the aid we gave to St. Pius X in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Our school was selfless without a second thought and it showed how important helping others is to us as a school community. I have never been a part of something where so many people contributed and were so involved in making a positive impact on people’s lives who they don’t even know.”
“One of the first things that amazed me about STA in my first week was the warm welcome our freshman class received from teacher and older students. My old school community was very tight (every student knew each other) so the transition to an entirely new environment was daunting at first. The welcoming STA community really helped with my nervousness of the transition and was an example of lux in tenebris for me.”
“Now that we are a few months into the academic year, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the “Lux in Tenebris” from all my teachers. For example, every day that I walk into class, my teachers greet me with a warm welcome, eager to pass on their knowledge to me. “Also, whenever I have a question for a teacher or there is a test or quiz coming up, my teachers are always willing to answer any question I may have. The best part is that that they are all so passionate about what they teach, and that makes the journey even better.”
“Every day, when I walk through the halls, I’m always intrigued by the pictures above the lockers of service trips from past Winterterm trips. St. Thomas Aquinas is always advocating for the power of community service so much and urging us to help those less fortunate than ourselves is one of the things I love most about the school.”
These handful of comments reflect a much wider sentiment embodied in our school mission. To be a light in darkness to others is at the heart of our Catholic calling to be saints. In a world where dark moments are captured in the media and overshadow human goodness, our Saints need to learn- more than ever- the importance of service, of kindness, of gratitude.
This year, two winners were chosen to receive the 2017 Living Legacy Recognition (and $500 to be applied to their second semester tuition). They are Will MacGregor and Hunter Jennings.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. -Isaiah 9:2