ONCE A LINKER, ALWAYS A LINKER: By Louise Boyles, Grade 12

It only takes a moment for you to realize how everything has changed. I realized this one day while I sat at a bench in school watching everything go by. Up until that moment, I have always felt like nothing had changed. In a way, I was not wrong nor was I right. The shade of blue that covered Childlink’s buildings were still the same, just painted fresh. The murals that tattooed the walls were still as vibrant despite their years. However, I realized I could no longer recognize some of the children playing at the playground. I used to know almost everyone at Childlink. Now, I see unfamiliar faces – our fates never having an opportunity to meet due to the gap of our years. That fateful afternoon, I was able to think about Childlink, the sum of its part, its ins and outs, and everything I learned from it.

At Childlink, I learned to use my voice, to be heard. Growing up, I have always been shy, unable to speak my thoughts. One of my biggest fears was being in front of a crowd. Being at Childlink made me overcome the better load of my stage fright. They believed in me even if I adamantly said, “I can’t.” Having people believe in you gives you a shot of courage. And I have never been more grateful to have had received the support they gave.

In addition to speaking out, I have also learned to stand up and lend a hand. Childlink has always made an extra effort to make its students aware of the reality behind the four walls of our school. There are societal issues we are experiencing that need grave attention and remedies. Our numerous advocacies have shed light on my outlook in life. It has forever instilled a sense of duty in me, as an individual, as a member of society, and as a citizen of this country. I will do what I can for the betterment of the world around me and will always be genuinely happy that I got the chance to help in little ways that I can. “Every little thing makes a big difference.” That is the motto that Childlink has taught me that will forever be engraved in my mind.

Last but not the least, at Childlink, I have learned to make bonds that will last a lifetime. We are a small school, you get to know all your classmates and schoolmates closest to you. You realize how great people they are and a bond is formed. They always say you will somehow lose friends as you take a new step, while this is not completely false, it does not really apply to Linkers. We are more than just friends – we are family.

It took a whole lot to internalize everything. I was Kindergarten 2 when I first enrolled at Childlink, now I’m in the twelfth grade, getting ready to go to college next year. A sudden wave of nostalgia washed over me as I thought of these things. The sadness that came after was inevitable; I am going to leave soon. But I also thought about all the things I have learned at Childlink that has shaped me into the person I am today. The time might tick away but the things I have learned? They will always stay with me. Once a Linker, always a Linker.

To learn more about the many strengths and advantages of a smaller school, please click the link below:
https://www.ericdigests.org/pre-923/small.htm

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