Our second speaker in the 2015-2016 Grand River Academy Speaker Series was Kesha Conway, a local community member who works for LEADERship Ashtabula County. Kesha oversees the YOUth Leadership component, a monthly program that several of our GRA students are involved with and an activity I participated in when I attended GRA.
Kesha has had a wide variety of experiences in her life including graduating from George Washington University, receiving her law degree from Cleveland State University, practicing law in Northeast Ohio, working with the Olympic Committee in Colorado, and coaching soccer at the University level. Needless to say, Kesha's involvement with our students and her life wisdom made her an exciting guest.
Kesha's message resonated with me as an alumnus, and I fully trust resonated with the students listening as well. She spoke about happiness from discovering what makes you happy to understanding the kind of person you are when you are truly happy, and making sure your life goals and attitudes are activating you to become your best self. At the heart of Kesha's discussion was a simple truth - we are happiest when we are reaching our full potential, when we are all we can be.
She explained however, being happy can't be the goal for which one strives. If it is, you'll never find it. Happiness comes from doing what we love. This was so vital for our guys to hear and discuss. Kesha shared how she found that when she is happy, she's doing her best and can handle anything with a good attitude.
Some of our students realize the cornerstone of Kesha's heartfelt message now while still here on campus, while others will take hold of it after several years of reflection. Our time here at Grand River Academy is not only transformative, but also key to becoming the best that we can be. This potential is academic, social, and emotional. I think nearly all GRA alumni will, as Kesha said, look back at his or her time as a student and will be thankful for the skills and memories. She went onto to share the famous quote, "Happiness is not a destination, but a journey."