BLOG & NEWS
A Note From the Yorktown Education Founder
- June 14, 2019
- Posted by: Randall Reiners
- Category: Yorktown Education School Update
As we finish our eleventh year, we can look back at our accomplishments with pride and optimism for the future. Our graduates’ collective college GPAs continue to be remarkable, increasing to 3.8 on a 4.0 scale from 3.7 last year. Dual enrollment courses are taught and graded per traditional college standards which, in turn, yields proof that Yorktown students are well-prepared with a superior education, one that is certainly among the best in the country.
All of our graduates have successfully completed at least one college course; however, average credits per student did fall to 13, from 27 college credits in the previous year, because students had shorter tenures with our school, including two of our six graduates who matriculated a year early with full-ride academic scholarships to their preferred university of choice.
We expect a bright future and continue to pursue state funding to make our school free to attend. Our international licensing program has begun, and we look forward to upgrading our facilities and adding new faculty members.
Trying to change the world for the better one student at a time is a long term endeavor, but the results for an individual are best summed up by our student graduation speaker.
Here is his Graduation Speech
Hello. My name’s Davis Christian Frodsham. For those of you who don’t know me – give it a couple of decades. For those of you who do know me – consider this speech as much of an apology as it is a victory lap.
When I first started going to Yorktown I had crippling anxiety, bouts of depression, self image issues, I walked funny, the whole deal. In other words, I was your typical modern teenager. I still have all of those problems now, but the main difference is that today I have just enough confidence to get up here and deliver a speech to the largest crowd of human beings that I’ve ever stood in front of. It’s a far cry from my preschool graduation, where my entire class danced the Macarena in a performance hall. I guess tonight I’ll find out which one I like better.
I’ve been at Yorktown for over seven years. Longer than most of the teachers, weirdly enough. Through all the regular ups and downs of adolescence, Yorktown has been a constant in my life. Over that span of time, Yorktown has done absolutely amazing things for me. My schedule has been incredibly flexible. I’ve retained a genuine amount of information from my classes, which is actually crazy. And I’ve had so many personal opportunities at Yorktown which I just don’t know If I’d get at any other school. Things like, personally running a canned food drive, or going to a Stanford mock trial camp, or making multiple fire rap songs. These are all amazing things I’ve had the pleasure of doing thanks to Yorktown.
And I’m happy to say that, in the end of it all, I got accepted to my first choice college, the University of Texas at Dallas, with a full ride Academic Excellence Scholarship. For this, I feel so excited and worried and amazed and scared and anxious, but all in a good way. Above all, however, I feel intensely grateful. Try to spot the theme of this speech.
At this point, I’d be remiss not to take a step back. My ego, while galactic, doesn’t blind me from the fact that a huge, huge, huge amount of success in my early life can be attributed to luck and the efforts of other people. I’m incredibly lucky to have been born in Texas, the best state. I’m incredibly blessed to have been born with parents that love me and siblings that tolerated me for a while. Basically, I’m incredibly blessed to have been born with an abundance of opportunity and the means to do what I want to do in my life. That’s a luxury that a lot of people in the same area code as me don’t have. The absolute worst, most criminal thing I could do from this point onwards is take it for granted and waste it.
So, uh, hopefully, I won’t.
I’ll be honest – I don’t have a clear and specific goal in my life just yet. All I know for sure is that I want to have a major positive impact on the world. I strongly believe that there’s little point in doing anything if you’re not helping others along with you. Any profession which allows me to bring up as many people as possible is a profession I’d consider. Right now, I think the most effective way for me to do that would be politics. I know what you’re thinking: any person who wants to be a politician to “help people” is probably a psychopath. And in the current state of political discourse and governance, it may be naive and idealistic of me to think I could ever do much of anything. In a lot of ways, the modern world seems like a lost cause. But I don’t believe in lost causes – only lost hope. If any of us lose hope in the goodness of man, and in our collective ability to drive change… what’s the point? Of anything? That’s not a life I’d like to live.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius.
Some people say money is what makes the world go round. Others say that blood alone moves the wheels of history. Both of these may be correct, in their own special ways, but I believe the driving force behind humanity – personal and impersonal, big and small, complex and simple, – is our common humanity. Our ability to feel empathy, compassion, and gratitude for each other, and the knowledge that every single person is only as strong as their safety net. The truth is, it’s easy to be blinded by pride. Being compassionate means making yourself vulnerable, and nobody likes being vulnerable. But showing gratitude, feeling empathy, and being earnest isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s fundamental. It’s necessary. These qualities are ones which I think everyone, especially me, must strive to do better in. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it certainly wasn’t built by one person.
When I was growing up, I was a pretty bratty and inconsiderate kid. Maybe it’d be more correct to say I was more bratty and inconsiderate. Either way, as the insolent little child I was, I found it incredibly annoying when my dad would constantly drill the value of service, humility, and gratitude into me. Looking back however, it’s some of the best advice anyone can get. Nothing matters but the positive worth you’ve put into the world. If you think you’ve succeeded, but all you’ve done is denigrate, devolve, and destroy, you haven’t really succeeded.
He told me that two weeks ago. Obviously, I’m still learning.
So, how about I actually take his advice? I simply wouldn’t be who I am without the help of so, so many people. I’m really a pretty helpless guy, so bear with me:
To my mom and dad, and also my stepmother, Maryanne. These people show me immeasurable love and support, and I’m still not sure why. My mom, who is the nicest and loveliest person I know, managed to raise four kids without any of them turning into obvious screw-ups, which she deserves major credit for. My dad bet $100 that I couldn’t sneak a specific line into this speech regarding blood and the wheels of history. He’s about to be $100 poorer.
To my siblings Sydney, Tate, and Kennedy, my stepbrother Ashton, and my pseudo-sister Rebekah. Tate sadly couldn’t be here, as he’s a few days away from completing his mission in Honduras. He’d probably make a better speech than me, but whatever. Rebekah couldn’t be here because she’s Californian.
To my senior year teachers: Ms. Tyro, Mr. Bower, Mrs. Clark, Mr. Cuadros, for providing top quality education through my senior year. I cannot thank them enough for constantly believing in, and / or tolerating me, over the better part of the last decade. Very few teachers can craft consistently engaging classes, personally work with every single student, or do the impossible by making trigonometry make sense to me, so this is my appreciation. And I must also give a very, very special thank you to Mrs. Walker, who helped me realize and cultivate my passion for public speaking and debate. Yeah, you can blame her for that.
And last but not least, the Yorktown faculty, Ms. Ajmera, Mr. Reiners, Mr. Sweet and Ms. Vargas, for keeping the whole circus running. Besides being the stewards of my education, these people extended the opportunity for me to do one of my favorite things: talk about myself.
In closing, I’d like to turn the tables a bit. I’ve spoken about compassion and gratitude, and I’ve named some of the people in my life for whom I’m most grateful. All of you have someone who has helped you to become the person you are now today. If they haven’t popped into your head already, I’d like you to think about who they are. And if it’s possible, thank them. Show your appreciation, whether they’re sitting right next to you, or if they’re a country away. At the very least, hold them in your hearts, and try not to let go.
Thank you very much.