I graduated from John Adams High School in 2002. Tonight, I returned from a town hall meeting from John Adams High School. This was a public hearing on the NYC Department of Education proposed closure in 2012-2013.
The speakers gave moving testimonies including my wife, Diana. She got the attention of the panel and audience tonight. Diana was the salutatorian of South Shore High School (Canarsie, New York), for class of 2003. Unfortunately, the high school closed down in 2007. Later that year, she was accepted into her graduate studies for her Master’s degree in Internet Technology. She wanted to go back to the school to see her former teachers to thank them for their support over the years and to tell them the news that she finally got into graduate school. Unfortunately, by the time she was accepted into her program, it was too late. The school was shut down and the staff was replaced. New teachers, new principal, new faculty. Not one trace of the old South Shore High School was there.
Tonight at the John Adams High School town hall meeting, Diana expressed her disappointment with the shutdown campaign by the New York City Department of Education. She stood in solidarity with John Adams High School. Many of us are considered second generation Adams family members as our family members attended John Adams High School before us. We weren’t here tonight just for us. We were here to fight for our future. Everyone in this school has hope and potential.
I was one of these students who had to struggle in school. I always had a difficult time learning a new subject. What may take someone one day to learn new material took me longer. This got my parents concerned as they thought I would never graduate and go to college because of this handicap. I proved them wrong when I received my Spanish Award, Service Award and Perfect Attendance Award by 2002 in my senior year. I also graduated on top 40 rank with my friends.
I also went on to college to study computers and received a B.A. in Information Systems and went for my certification in A+ PC Technician. It was at John Adams High School’s Athletic Department that I learned how to fix computers under supervision of my friend Marcus and Mr.O’donoghue, Athletic Director. This was where I started learning how to take a computer apart and put it back together again when something broke.
While going to college for my Bachelor’s of Arts degree, I received the Maria Lee Scholarship and the Achievement Award. I also continued to visit John Adams High School during my college career to see how my mentors are doing. Without their help and support, I would have never made it this far. My parents never graduated with a college degree from their home country of China. After I graduated with my BA in Information Systems, my wife and I decided to go back to school for our Master’s degree in Internet Technology. We graduated in 2009 with MS in Internet Technology from Pace University.
Today my wife and I run an online store selling custom hand made crafts. We run RedLotusDesignz.com. If it wasn’t for the support and hard work our mentors provided to us over the years, we would not be here today.
Our success in life could not have happened without your support over the years.
The following was inspired by the movie, “300”. This thanks to my friend James, a fellow John Adams High School Alumni and class of 2002 who told me to make this my last part of the speech:
“Spartans don’t give up. They fight on. We are Spartans.”