Alumna Shares Her "12 Gifts of Trinity"
Our mission is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why our Board of Trustees begins each board meeting with a “Mission Reflection.” As we headed into the holiday break, they invited Trinity Alumna Susie McCartt to share hers. In honor of the holiday season, Susie shared her reflection on “The 12 Gifts of Trinity.”
Hello! My name is Susie McCartt. I am a Trinity lifer and graduated in 2014, I went to Austin High School and graduated as part of the Academy for Global Studies program in 2018. I am currently a Junior Interdisciplinary Engineering major at Texas A&M. As an Interdisciplinary Engineering major I am focusing on manufacturing, mechanical engineering, and entrepreneurship to become a self-proclaimed “product design engineer”. I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today without Trinity. Trinity has given me so many gifts and experiences that I am forever thankful for. During the holiday season, it is great to be able to take a step back from my busy school life and reflect on how I have grown throughout the years. Though I have changed in many ways, there is a common theme between each of these transitions, and that is Trinity. In honor of the holiday season, I will be reflecting on the 12 gifts of Trinity.
Trinity has given me the gift of joy. There is so much joy that filled my Trinity experience. From teachers to friends to the projects we did in school to the many sports practices, there is so much that I loved from my days at Trinity. Even at my very first snow cone day, I knew that I was going to have the best 9 years. Joy is in every aspect of the Trinity experience. I truly experienced joy every day singing chapel songs at the top of my lungs, playing boys vs girls tug of war at Trinity Olympics (the girls always won of course), pitching our startup business, “top dog”, to the panel of judges during project 8, or even joy was present in the small moments on the playground where we would see who could swing the highest on the swing set. This is pure, Trinity kiddo joy.
Trinity has given me the gift of hard work. There was a high standard at Trinity, set by teachers, that I wanted to live up to. Though we might have been in elementary or middle school, they always expected our best work to be put forward. Does this mean I still to this day probably spend 3 times longer on a project than necessary, yes. But Trinity taught me to always put my best foot forward in everything I do whether it be in the classroom, on the stage, on the field, or even in the smallest act of kindness.
Trinity has given me the gift of compassion. In simple terms that we have all heard as a kid, the Bible says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is a “golden rule” that is understood by everyone, but Trinity takes it one step further and not only teaches us this rule but teaches us how to act on it as stewards in our hometown and world. From Earth Day field trips to the recycling plant to our 8th grade trip to Costa Rica, we were actively taught how to be compassionate and kind to our friends, family, neighbors (near or far), and the world.
Trinity has given me the gift of authenticity. Trinity teaches each one of us to never be afraid of being authentically oneself. I will always be true to who I am. “Our strength is in our differences and the gifts we have to share” these lyrics from World of Differences show the true value of one's authenticity. To make the world a better place must first understand that it is these differences that make each one of us unique. There is so much strength within the Trinity community because of the immense respect for each other and our differences. There is no “one type” of Trinity student.
Trinity has given me the gift of faith. I am confident and strong in my faith because of Trinity. In high school, because I went to a public school, I didn’t have that constant exposure to the Bible integrated into my everyday school life; I missed chapel being part of my routine. Trinity taught me to be confident in my faith and because of all of my experiences I was able to leave Trinity with a strong foundation of faith. In high school and college, I have been able to have a very personal journey with continuing to build my faith and I love constantly learning new things about the Bible. It is because of Trinity’s commitment to the enrichment of one’s faith, I have had the best foundation for growth that has allowed me to have a deeper connection with my faith than I ever thought imaginable.
Trinity has given me the gift of support. At Trinity, there is always someone cheering you on throughout every step of your journey. When I think of support, I think of spirit night. In 8th grade, I was on the 5A volleyball team, and there was an energy inside the gym and you felt the spirit of the Trinity tornado. That day, in particular, we came together as a tornado to cheer on each team. Though Trinity lifers are those that were there all 9 years, every student leaves Trinity a lifer. Trinity will be a part of our lives forever and I can confidently say that we have all been touched by the unwavering support from teachers, parents, coaches, friends, and faculty.
Trinity has given me the gift of selfless service. Being a selfless servant doesn’t mean you work solely for the betterment of oneself, it means you work to actively be a servant in those lives around you. You don’t have to go on some crazy mission trip to be a selfless servant, Trinity taught me that you just have to be present in the lives of others to be a selfless servant. Actions, while no one is watching, is what molds a selfless servant, and Trinity challenged us to always be that better version of ourselves.
Trinity has given me the gift of creativity. I am so fortunate that I have been in environments where my creativity has been put to the test. Trinity gave me a strong creative foundation that I have since taken and run within my later academic endeavors. In the Academy for Global Studies at Austin High, I was able to think creatively about any project that was thrown my way. In college, as an Interdisciplinary Engineering major, I had to take a risk and create my own degree plan. At Trinity, I was taught to be confident in my knowledge and this uncertainty should not be feared.
Trinity has given me the gift of confidence. A Trinity student is told to chase their dreams and they are taught they can achieve anything they set their mind to. This is why I am appreciative of this gift that Trinity has given me. Because of Trinity, I can go into any situation with confidence in not only my knowledge but myself.
Trinity has given me the gift of love. There is so much love that fills Trinity. There is so much love in the friendships we make, love in the teachers' support of each student, love in God, love for the activities that we do, love for the connections we make, and love for the experiences we have whether it’s a lifer's last day on 8th grade graduation or a kindergartener getting dropped off in the carpool line for the first time.
Trinity has given me the gift of family. Family is there for your best moments but still loves you at your worst. I have been so fortunate to have Trinity in every stage of my life. Whether it be Trinity friends that I get to go to college with, long time elementary school friends that I am able to grow with as we get older, or the moments I share with my sister and family reflecting on those amazing Trinity memories that we cherish do deeply. So often when Elle and I were waiting on our carpool to pick us up in the morning, we would go through our old photo albums and reflect on our years as Trinity students. I am so thankful to be able to cherish each moment.
Trinity has given me the gift of leadership. Trinity taught me how to be a leader in every aspect. Whether it’s working on a group project or trying to become class captain, I learned a lot about leadership. I never became class captain, but I was able to learn leadership in other aspects. Looking back on my journey, I learned to step up when I felt passionate. You don’t have to have the highest title to be a leader. It is ones actions within the given role that demonstrates good leadership qualities.
I am the face of a Trinity Lifer. Because of Trinity’s commitment to each child, each day I have been forever changed by my journey as a Trinity student. I am so thankful for the gifts Trinity has given me; Trinity has truly shaped me into the person I am today. I would not be who I am today without Trinity and I have so much love in my heart for this school that has given me so much. Thank you!