NMH Magazine 2018 Spring

Page 34

DIGGING When Leighlani Sanchez ’18 starts Columbia University in September, she’ll be the first in her family to attend college. Last fall, she delivered NMH’s annual Spade Oration, a call to work hard in the coming year. She told a story of strength and determination — her mother’s and her own. ESSAY B Y LEI G HLANI S ANC HEZ ’18 PORTR AIT B Y CHAT TMAN PHOTOGR A P H Y


NMH Magazine

DEEP I AM HERE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT A SPADE. Not just any spade, but Northfield Mount Hermon’s ceremonial spade. It’s been a long-standing tradition at NMH for a member of the graduating class to pass down this spade to the rising senior class. That senior class will then use the spade to plant a tree and attach a colored ribbon, marked with their class year, to the handle. The spade represents dedication and hard work — concepts that all of us are very familiar with. But because they’re so familiar, we seldom stop to think about them or question them. So I’ll ask: Why do you work hard? What have you worked your hardest for? What does hard work look like to you?