November is a month associated with gratitude and giving thanks. We have so many things to be thankful for as Orem residents. I believe we can all agree: we are grateful for educational opportunities, we believe that education lifts and strengthens our community, and we understand the importance of education and schooling in general—it can determine future outcomes.
I’m so very grateful for education opportunities. Education changed the trajectory of my family. My dad was the first in his family to graduate college. He worked full-time as he was going to school full-time—he joked that my mom and their two young children shared his degree. I grew up in a family with 7 children, my mother was an amazing woman and though she didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, she encouraged—pretty much insisted that—all of her children attend college. We all graduated with bachelor's, master’s or MD doctorate degrees. My family didn’t have a lot of money, but with academic scholarships and working three jobs during the summer, I was able to work hard and put myself through school.
I’ve continued to share my passion for education and the way it changes lives. For over 20 years I’ve volunteered in Orem schools and advocated for resources for Orem children. Again, we can agree our children are worth every hour we spend educating and serving them. We don’t have to be perfect in our service, I’m not, just get involved. We can all find some way to serve. There’s a program at Windsor elementary, my neighborhood school, that is a great example of our Orem community volunteering in education. Before school, volunteer reading tutors comprised of retirees, moms, dads, high schoolers, and others help disadvantaged children learn to read—it’s life-changing for those children. My message of gratitude is that we can all pay it forward by helping and supporting the children in our community. Our children are our future; education is their future.
I am so grateful for the educational opportunities that surround us and the results those opportunities have produced. In our area we have top universities, successful small businesses, and great people who have excelled in all areas of life. We have so much to be grateful for.
As we show gratitude for the educational blessings we’ve received, as we volunteer and strive to bless the rising generation, we will be giving back to our Orem children. Through education-related service, Orem residents will create connections between our neighborhood schools and neighborhood communities. I believe in the people who live in Family City USA. I am grateful for education—education changed my life. My depth of gratitude fuels my passion to serve our Orem community. Education is a tremendous blessing we can all be grateful for and, through service, give to others. During this month of gratitude, please pause and remember the educational opportunities you’ve received. Let’s all be a part of a prosperous and bright future for Orem.
Orem City Council