Yesterday, a most extraordinary couple visited our Hilltop for a Lunch & Lead. Scott and Tiffany Smiley delivered a message of hope. Thank you Kim family for making their visit possible. I can’t think of a better message for the times…
Captain Scott Smiley lost his vision April 6, 2005. He was serving his country in Iraq when he spotted a suspicious car. He approached the vehicle and asked the driver to step out. The driver refused and seconds later, Scott’s “world went black.”
He was a young newlywed when the car bomb stole his vision, and his dreams. But, as Scott told our students, “I had to make a choice. Do I stay angry and fearful? Or do I move forward?”
With the help of his wife Tiffany, Scott moved on. He became the Army’s first active-duty blind officer and its first blind company commander. He surfs, skis, skydives, is an author and completed an IronMan. In short, Scott faced what felt like the end and made it his beginning.
“Don’t ever let the world tell you what you can be,” Tiffany urged students. “Follow the conviction of your heart.”
The Smileys speak of relying on one’s moral compass to get through dark times. For our community, St. Luke’s mission can be that beacon: An exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead.
It’s hard to imagine a more critical imperative for a school— or a parent— than the creation of compassionate, ethical and inclusive leaders.
I have a confession and a dream. I hope to someday see a St. Luke’s graduate elected president. The country and the world would rejoice secure in the knowledge that this woman or man has lived by a timeless St. Luke’s Honor Code…
I will maintain and encourage integrity at all times. I will be honest in what I say and write, and show respect for myself, others, and all property. I will treat everyone with kindness, and accept responsibility for my actions.
See you at the inauguration.