When I joined RA in 5th grade, I thought I was just going to a new school, but I didn't realize I was also joining a new community. But what is a community? What does it mean to be in one?

A community is defined as a group of people with common attitudes, interests, or goals. We are all part of the RA community in that we go to school here, but RA is made up of individuals who belong to other communities. Many of you might be a part of the soccer, horseback riding, gymnastics, or swimming communities, For me, I am part of the Asian-American community because of my heritage and also the communities where I’ve lived. But many of you may know me for my connection to the community of magic.

However, you wouldn't know this about me if I never shared my magic with you. Two years ago, I performed one of my favorite tricks for the entire Middle and Upper School. It might not have happened though. I was worried that people might not like it, or that I would mess up in front of everybody. It felt like a big risk but with encouragement from my parents and friends, I decided that I would go through with it. Everything went as planned, and since then, my classmates and teachers have become interested in my tricks. By sharing my magic, I opened a whole set of doors that I didn’t know existed at RA. After that, I gained the confidence to perform regularly for my peers during recess. I even ended up giving an impromptu performance during lunch with Mr. Howarth asking me to show the trick to him again and again. But the greatest opportunity that came out of my first performance was to teach an elective last year with about 6 kids, and even some teachers participated.

These experiences taught me that, when you share your interests with a community, you make connections with and open doors across multiple communities.

Let me demonstrate. These cards represent members of our school. We may not know much about our peers, but, we share the same goals and values. When I came to RA, I felt like the only magician, but since then I have realized that there are other people who are interested in magic and have even found a few fellow magicians here. So in a way, I've helped to connect the magic community with our school. I hope that this speech inspires you to think about how you can share your outside communities and interests with RA. Thank you.