Last week I attended the Xavier “X” Breakfast - the 2nd annual fundraising breakfast at Xavier College Preparatory, my alma mater, in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, we served Egg McMuffins for breakfast. And yes we raised one million dollars - in one hour. That’s amazing.
I use the term “we” for a few reasons, but mainly because I feel connected to the school in many ways. Certainly as an alum, there are lessons I learned during those formative teenage years - positive and challenging - that have stayed with me and help to define who I am. Equally as important are the four years I spent as a teacher, coach and administrator at Xavier following my graduation from Notre Dame. The lessons I learned during my “2nd” four years at Xavier were just as impactful and in many ways more meaningful and more spiritual, less academic but just as educational.
I return to Xavier now as an alum, as an author, and as of last week - as a speaker at the breakfast. It was truly my honor to share with over 750 people how Xavier has made a lasting impression on my life. And I too was inspired.
Just before I left, a senior English teacher at Xavier handed me a notebook filled with essays that her seniors had written based on - and after reading - my book. Wow. I read the entire notebook from start to finish as soon as I boarded the plane. The essays were amazing. Their thoughts were deep and insightful. They “got it.” They understood more than I did at 18 years old, yet it was clear they learned something from me as well. These girls are, from reading their essays, worth every dollar Xavier raised as we ate our Egg McMuffins.