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Journey To Graduation

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Chris Velotta

on 1 November 2016

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Transcript of Journey To Graduation

Skippy V. The Explorer
I'm ready for the adventure of my life! This year is going to be a blast, and I think I am determined enough, strong enough, and positive enough to make this year the bomb! I'll need to be (a lot) more organized and manage my time a little better. But I can do that!
Blood Is Thicker
Blood is Thicker was a moving book. It made me realize that my family is more important than anything. Anything! The quote "Blood is thicker than anything" means that: your money can burn, your house can collapse, but nothing can break the bond between you and your family.
SFA Partner Day
Today, Saint Francis of Assisi's eighth grade came to our school! We talked about how to be leaders, did an obstacle course that Mr. K made, and got to know our partners. I got James's partner today, because he and my partner were both sick. His name was Matthew, but everyone calls him Fredo. My favorite part of the day was when all of the St. Anselm students and all of the St. Francis students got together a talked football at lunch. That was awesome.
I did it! Thank you Lord, Mom and Dad, and thank you to the amazing CLASS OF 2015! I love you all!
Journey To Graduation
Thank you!
Chris Velotta, Class of 2015

Assistant Janitor
For my summer service project, I volunteered as a janitor at Metzetbaum Sheltered Industries. After a "conference" with the executive director Jim Groner, I got to work with a former Perry football coach as an assistant janitor. It was awesome! I swept, vacuumed, and cleaned my way to glory. After the three days of work, I developed a bond with Joe, the head janitor. We talked football and spoke of what was going on in our lives. I definately plan on going back to Metzenbaum to volunteer as a janitor. It was truly a moving experience-helping others can also help yourself.
Recipe for a Good Friend
Ingredients: A person, yourself, God

1. A friend will be there for you.

2. A friend will make you smile.

3. A friend is someone you'll never forget.
Being a Leader
This year, I'd like to lead this class to an unforgettable 13-year-run finale. I want to show others that this class is not just a class, it's a family. I am going to have to step up at times and do things I don't want to do, but that comes with stepping up to be an initiator to do things I want to do. Like I said earlier: it's going to be a blast this year, and I believe I have a say in how much fun it is going to be.
God's Grace is Enough!!!!!
You can lose your family, your job, your friends, but you will never lose God. God's love and grace is all you need to carry on! Whenever I am down, I remember that I have God all the time! I'll be okay!
Geauga Lions
The Geauga Lions are a Catholic powerhouse football team from Geauga, Ohio. They are very well coached, and the taem is like a brotherhood. And I'm one of the brothers! I love football, I love my friends, and I love my faith, so the Geauga Lions football team is perfect for me. Football teaches valuable lessons for life, like Trust and Hard Work. Go Lions!
Csenge Karetka is the cutest prayer partner on Earth! She is about three feet tall and has short, dark hair. She is Hungarian and has a soft, high pitched voice. I plan on getting to know what she is in to and some background on her nationality. I am partnered with a fellow eighth grader, Michael Foiani. Compared to her, we are monstrous.
Christmas Jars
Leadership Summit: SFA
Jesse Manibusan Retreat Day
Swallowing Stones
All Saints Day
All Souls Day
Veterans Day
A Christmas Carol
Karpos Ministry
Catholic Schools Week
Christmas Jars is an inspirational story about love and kindness. It tells our world that generosity isn't overrated. I think I would have to give a jar to my uncle this year, for he needs the warmth of love and the feeling of being cared about even more than money. I think we need to treat "everyone... like family," as the book pronounces. We shouldn't just love those we know, but those we have yet to know.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the Leadership Summit at SFA. It was very cool to see what Catholic Schools do to kids. I thought it would be chaos, yet I was surprised to meet some outgoing and kind people. I think the get-together put our community into perspective. We all found out that we are just regular kids and we are in charge of making the choice to be a leader or not. I would have to say, my favorite part of the day was definitely the Mass. Having 800 kids pray is pretty powerful.
Jesse Manibusan brought out the best of Saint Anselm School. He pulled everyone, including me, out of their comfort zones and had us praise the Lord and love our peers like never before. His notoriously bad jokes, uproarious humor, and joyous attitude brought us all to happiness. I want to be like Jesse everyday: I want to make people laugh and smile, stay positive, and reveal to others the goodness of God in our lives. Jesse Manibusan was the bomb!
The book
Swallowing Stones
was a lesson-learner. I learned that telling the truth is the right thing, or else you will eat yourself from the inside-out concealing a lie. I found that family is important to have and love, for they are your support; they have your back. Finally, I learned that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive, you don't want to regret the life you've wasted with negativity. I believe I am like Michael in this story, in a way. Michael gives in to his conscience in the end. He is stubborn for a while, like me, but he does the right thing in the end.
Reconciliation is totally underrated! The sacrament truly purifies the spirit, and makes us feel clean and holy. I love the sacrament of Reconciliation because, when my sins vanish, I feel like I have started anew with God, and I rejoice when I get the "second chance" at my everyday choices.
"For those who love, nothing is too difficult, especially when it is done for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ."
-Saint Ignatius
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
-Saint John the Baptist
I believe the key to being "saintly" is not modeling your life after someone else.
Model your own life, make the choices that you truly believe are right, live for others, and praise your Maker,
and I believe you will be rewarded.
"Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?"
-Saint Gerard Majella
Both my Papa and my Grandpa were amazing people. They were the hardest working, kindest people I knew. I really look up to them; I want to be a hard worker and a family man just as my own grandparents were. I miss you guys!
Lord, let those who have lived a good life be with you, and help those who are still on the journey. Amen.
"I would rather die a meaningful death than live a meaningless life."
-Corazon Aquino
"If a man has not discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bill Velotta
Bill Jirousek
Without our military, what senses of safety and happiness and freedom do we have? Without our military, what would our amazing country crumble to? I'm thankful for my freedom and my opportunity to shape my own life. I don't think I'd make it if I didn't have what I have as an American. Thank you Veterans! We had a Veteran's Day celebration recently. We gave a presentation on each Veteran who was invited to the assembly, prayed together, and shared a lunch with them. My favorite part of the day was talking with Mr. and Mrs. Healey at the luncheon, where I found what an amazing man he was and what brave things he did for our country. What a great day it was!
What I love about Thanksgiving is the family time-forget the food(well, don't completely forget the food)! Seeing my family smile and laugh with each other is awesome. Seeing the whole Velotta family eating together and happy is a real blessing. I'm thankful for my amazing family, my great class and teachers, and my countless opportunities and privileges as a young man. I am thankful for my bed, my food and drink, and the roof over my head. Happy Thanksgiving!
The book
A Christmas Carol
is a classic story. Everyone knows it! But I think people overlook the lessons in the story. It is never too late to change, and a good attitude can go along way.
Christmas is most definitely my favorite holiday. I love how the family gets together, and everyone seems to be in a good mood. My family has a special tradition each year. Before my grandfathers died, we had both sets of grandparents record their voices on a record-read book. This year, at Aunt Patty's house, the entire Velotta gang sat in the family room (which was a sight to see), curled up on furniture, sitting on the floor and tables, and even snuggled under the Christmas tree. And there my dad sat in front of the room, next to Grandma, with the book open in his hand. Grandpa's voice played as the story was told. Aunts and uncles closed their eyes and smiled as Grandpa's rough voice kept on. Cousins cried and laughed at the same time. The little ones just marveled at the whole scene. Grandma had a sparkle in her eyes. I'm telling you, there is no better holiday than Christmas, and no better gift than family.
Sweet ping-pong table Mom and Dad got us!
Karpos Ministry has helped me realize the suffering of this world. I never actually thought that homeless people and poor people and starving people are just like you and me. They are in pain, and there is a lot of them. I've learned to be thankful for what I have. Every time I eat, I now think that the meal would be a Godsend for some while I take it for granted. How is the world so cruel? I vow to give back, to help other people, because God gave me plenty, and I am privileged enough to share.
The Catholic school of Saint Anselm has shaped me beyond belief. The people here have taught me love and care, right from wrong, and so much more. I have really honed in on my faith and skills at Saint Anselm. The powerful friendships I've made here will last forever. I have become the person I want to be at Saint Anselm, and I am proud to be a Spartan. I think the Catholic faith has a huge impact on my life. Through Jesus, I have found how to be the best version of me, and there is nothing more I could ask for. Thank you to my parents for allowing me to go to Saint Anselm, and thank yo to Mrs. Bartram for teaching me what it means to be a Catholic.
Summit #2
The second and final leadership summit was a showstopper. Bishop Gries lead the opening mass, and his sermon and personality were glowing with love and enthusiasm! The best part of it all, from my perspective, was the friendly and relaxed atmosphere that was present. Us kids, knowing each other from the last Summit, treated everyone like old friends, giving the Summit an upbeat and calm tone. This experience was really peaceful and fun!
This year, the teachers created an educational competition.
The Amazing Race
is a TV show that focuses on physical challenges, such as climbing mountains or crossing rivers. St. Anselm's race involved intricate math problems, online scavenger hunts, and even toy car designing! My team came in fourth place! What an awesome day!
Spring Concerts!
Before we knew it, Easter came, and my family got together and partied it up! Jesus is risen everyone!
On Holy Thursday, St. Anselm School had its annual Easter Retreat Day. We prayed, helped the little students make crafts, and we just helped out with all the assemblies. We truly enjoyed the spirit of the occasion and of each other.
Talk about a life changing experience! My sponsor was my piano teacher, Mr. Carmen Scicolone. He was absolutely amazing. He helped me understand the meaning of the years ahead. He helped me find the happiness of life, joy, no matter what is happening. His words, actions, and his radiant spirit have moved me. I chose John as my confirmation name for two reasons. 1: John the Baptist was a quiet, courageous leader, and 2: John the Evangelist was a prominent writer. I love writing! Confirmation was awesome!
This year, I performed in two spring concerts, both a band concert and a class musical, Les Miserables. Both were truly great experiences. I'll miss playing the sax with Max, and I'll totally miss the belting the wrong lyrics as loud as possible front and center in our spring concerts with Mrs. Tomsick. Man, music has a way of penetrating our souls and making things memorable.
Year Round Reflections:
This year helped me find who I am: spiritually and physically. The D.C. and Colombus trips brought me closer to my friends-these relationships will last forever! In D.C., my father and I bonded as well. I will always remember that trip. Mom, thank you for packing my lunches every morning and rushing us to school. Thank you for helping me out the door! Mom, Dad, I truly appreciate what you have done for me. My SAS experience has been phenomenal. It has cost you both a buttload of time and money, and I will never stop thanking you for these incredible years. THANK YOU.
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