Good afternoon everyone, my name is David Amerson and I am a Senior at San Miguel High School. It is my honor today to be able to speak to you about my journey in Catholic Education from middle through high school.
Education has always been incredibly important to both of my parents, since they both graduated Magna Cum laude you can imagine the bar was set pretty high for me.
For my elementary education, I went to a public school and I can remember my dad sitting down at the kitchen table with me and making multiplication table flashcards. He would practice them with me until I knew them by heart and could recite them by memory on my own. So when it was time to decide where to send me for middle and high school, my parents decided on a Catholic school education after my public school experience.
I went to St. John the Evangelist for middle school. During this time is when my parents and I really got a taste of what it was like to be at a Catholic school. By the time I had finished 8th grade, I had grown to appreciate the dress code and the way the teachers seemed to really care about every single one of the students they taught.
Then I continued my journey to San Miguel High School and to this moment I remember my very first day. I was terrified. I never really wanted to go to there because I knew IT was going to be a challenge for me. My sister graduated from San Miguel in 2012 and I remember her stories of how challenging, but how rewarding it was to have the opportunity to be a student there.
San Miguel taught us about the 5 Lasallian core principles from the very first day of school. They include: Faith in the Presence of God, Respect for All persons, Inclusive Community, Quality Education, and Concern for the Poor and Social Justice, teaching us the ways of our founder, St. John Baptist de la Salle. The school gives us the tools for us to live out these core principles everyday.
What sets our school apart is the Corporate Work Study Program, a program where every single student has a job in the Tucson area and works one day out of the week and the money they earn goes towards their tuition. Making a Catholic, Lasallian, and college preparatory education available for anybody who wants it.
It’s amazing for me to think about all those feelings I had back then and compare them to the ones I have now. I was so scared to be going into this brand new school and lived for the dismissal bell to ring so I could run into my parent's car and go home. Now, I stay almost everyday after school because I’m involved in so many clubs that help my community.
My sophomore year really was my turning point, I decided to join the National Honors Society, the brand new Robotics Club, and also the Student Ambassador Program representing my school to our Tucson community. I now, can walk up and down the halls of my school, and say hello to all the Faculty and Staff and to my fellow students as well. I’ve done so much at San Miguel that I will remember forever. I had the opportunity to give Governor Doug Ducey a tour of our school and do a news interview about my experience. l can now add that I gave a speech at the state capitol in front of a huge crowd, (and I must admit I did pretty well). I have made many memories and friends that I will cherish forever through my Catholic experience at San Miguel and I am ready to take my education to the next level.
None of these experiences could be possible had it not been for the Arizona tax credits. Because of the people here in Arizona who recommended their tax dollars, students like me can have an outstanding Catholic education that will change their life and make sure they are college and career ready.
After I graduate this May I will have a wide range of colleges to choose from. San Miguel has helped me with the college application process and I have applied to 25 colleges and universities and have been accepted to 11. I also have received, and happy to report, merit scholarships from every single one. I want to thank my parents and San Miguel’s catholic education for shaping me into the young man I am now.
I appreciate you all listening to my story and I hope you have a blessed day, thank you.