The French Honors Society held it’s celebration of juniors and seniors in the Tappan Zee High School Library. The ceremony was student led beginning with the Officer’s Introduction Performance by Keira Petry and Meghan Scarry, followed by a powerful speech by Jessica Monzon and a musical performance by Laura Pollack. Here are some excerpts from Jessica’s speech, entitled, Rolling “R’s” and Opening Eyes. “Jessica, do you mind saying the colors green and red for the class?” With a very low voice and very pink cheeks, I remember saying “Grrreen and Rrred.” I was rolling my “r’s”. Why was this so fascinating to my teacher? I’ll never know, but it was what opened my young eyes and made me realize I was different. A good different, that is. My parents were both born in El Salvador and the person I am today is all thanks to them.”
While the rest of my peers were off learning something different, I was in a different classroom, ESL (English as a Second Language). Here I learned to read, write, and speak English. It was hard being the outlier in class because everyone else could communicate perfectly with each other, but I had no one to talk to. At the beginning of my school career I was below average for my class; everyone was on reading letter “F” while I was still on letter “B.” Writing was horrific as well, while everyone was writing “Hi, my name is *insert name* and I liked apples when I was younger,” I was writing “Hi, I am called Jessica and when I little I like applles.” Although it was hard at first, as I continued to grow I quickly caught up. About six years of ESL eventually paid off.
Being bilingual is the best quality I have. This will affect the rest of my life because my goal is to be a doctor. No children will have to accompany their family member because I will be able to speak English and Spanish, and with what I’m learning so far, maybe even French. Someone once said, “Great things come from hard work and perseverance” because of all the effort I have put into catching up, I believe I will be a successful woman. With the help of my teachers, parents, peers, and my will power I am hoping to become a trilingual doctor. Being bilingual taught me many things, and I wouldn’t ever change the journey.
The ceremony concluded with a musical performance by Laura Pollack. Laura played the guitar and sang, Chanson: Aux Champs-Elysees par Joe Dassin (1969). Thank you Ms. Root, Honor’s Society Officers Keira Petry, Meghan Scarry, Juliana Guaracino, Jessican Monzon, Laura Pollack, and all of the Honors Society students and parents for joining in this celebration.