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Mikayla

marazzi

2013 Graduate
MEI Secondary School

“MEI has been my home since the first day I walked into my warm and welcoming Kindergarten classroom and will be till the day I graduate.”

I don’t remember too much of my years in elementary school. Although I do remember Christmas productions, times tables, books, tag on the playground, classroom songs with stomping and actions and an environment where I always felt safe, welcomed and comfortable. Entering Middle, I was welcomed into a world with lockers, multiple teachers and having the wonderful freedom to choose to eat lunch outside or inside. Those three years were an awkward stage, as I grew out of my blissful ignorance and began to really discover myself and how God fit into me and my life. After Middle School came high school. I had just come out of being at the top of my school only to be thrust down once again to the bottom. The first few weeks were scary in the big school. All the older students seemed so big, tall and mature. I remember being mesmerized by the older kids of the school and dreaming about the day I would reach their maturity. Now finishing up my grade 11 year, I still don’t feel like those mature older kids I perceived grade 11s and 12s to be. There are times, I feel as lost and vulnerable as I did in grade nine.

Nevertheless, looking back on my journey from Kindergarten to now, it takes my breath away to see how far I have come. I look back and see people, moments and opportunities all weaved together beautifully bringing me one step closer every day to becoming the person God has created me to be.

MEI has played a huge role in surrounding me with people of integrity who care about your education and growth as an individual. Many of the teachers have made a direct impact in my life by being able to talk to them and seeing how they live their lives. In grade six, I met a teacher who has had a big influence on my life. Every day after school while waiting for my mom, I would sit in his classroom and talk with him. Even when I moved up through the grades, I continued to visit him often. He encouraged me to pursue my sports and he inspired me in my relationship with God. One of most significant aspects about MEI is that the teachers truly care. Throughout my years at MEI, numerous teachers have inspired me, helped me make decisions, and answered some of my tough questions.

In MEI provides so many opportunities to grow studies, sports and most importantly, your relationship with God. Teachers work God into every subject; integrating faith and science, faith and history or even in the way we learn math. School is more than the material we learn or the social scene; it is a place to expand your knowledge in every aspect of life. At the beginning of first class every morning, there is the time of morning devotions. Each teacher has a unique way of encouraging us to think and discuss deeper topics as well as encourage us with their stories. Twice a week, we have chapel which for the most part, is student led. It’s encouraging to see someone at the same stage of life as you, choosing to live their lives for God. It’s refreshing to hear their incredible stories about what God is doing in the lives of the people around you; people you pass by in the hallway or sit beside in math class.

Having gone to MEI since Kindergarten I often take for granted the values they hold and have taught me. They teach that life is more than grades, friends, sports or music. MEI encourages one to pursue a life lived for Christ. Even though this is constantly encouraged, it is never forced. Granting that it’s done with respect; disagree, challenge and ask questions.

We are inspired to pursue what we love and use the talents we have been blessed with. Every day we are encouraged to look past ourselves, and live selflessly in the world around us. Last year, I had the opportunity to pursue both of these. In my second semester of my grade ten year, after lots of consideration and prayer, I pulled out of school and thrust myself into the world of tennis. I decided to pursue the sport with all my heart, with the goal of qualifying for the Canadian Tennis Nationals in Quebec. I took my studies online while I spent my days training and playing for several hours every day. Eventually and surprisingly, my hard work paid off and I qualified for the Nationals, something I had dreamed of accomplishing. Being away from school and friends was hard and at times lonely, but what I learned through the experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

After summer and as most entered their grade 11 year, I embarked on yet another adventure. My friend and I traveled to Argentina to work at an orphanage my grandparents founded 50 years back. We spent our days cooking, cleaning, playing with the kids and helping out in any way we could. We spent 3 months there and I loved every minute a spent there. Leaving behind the pressures of our North American culture, the simplicity of their lifestyle, building beautiful relationships, struggling through a new language, seeing God work in marvelous ways and personally growing in ways I never could have imagined; made my time in Argentina an incredible experience.

Now in my second semester of grade 11, I am back attending MEI. I miss Argentina dearly and sometimes contemplate what it would be like to really pursue my tennis again, but I am happy to be back at MEI. I am surrounded with wonderful people; students and teachers. Through my grade 11 bible class and my extraordinary teachers who work God into every class no matter the subject, I find myself learning more than simply math or science every day. Despite not attending MEI in my last semester of grade ten and my first semester of grade eleven, I have never attended another school and I will always consider MEI my home.