Community Academy is a very special place. It is unique. It is a collaborative of dedicated people, young and old, working toward a single goal…the education and care of young people. Over the years, we have been called “the School of Second Chances,” and it has been said about Community Academy, “Don’t expect miracles, but wait around long enough and you will find one.”
When I was a boy, there was scrawled on the wall of a local supermarket, "Augie is the creator of Heaven and Earth." As graffiti goes, this message seemed very strange, and at first, I thought that "Augie" must be an egomaniac or just plain weird.
As I grew older, "Augie's message seemed to make more and more sense to me. Certainly, God created the Heavens and the Earth. After that first creation, what follows is life itself: the lives of our ancestors, our families and friends, and of course, our own precious life. God's special gift to us, however, carries a very difficult responsibility.
Our task is to create our own destinies. We have been given the duty to create ourselves. This is a profound responsibility to make our own Heaven and Earth. "Augie" was not an egomaniac or a fool after all; in fact, he was quite profound.
We can choose to leave creation to others. Each of us can be passive and merely react to the trials and tribulations that life sends our way. We can let everyone else determine our Heaven and Earth. Our friends, our past, our neighborhood, and our fears can control our lives. We can be happy or sad, full of life or full of despair, dependent upon the whims of family, friends, and strangers.
Or we can be like "Augie," the masters of our own universe, the creators of our own lives, the makers of our own destiny. I don't know what experience made "Augie" realize this, but I know he was right.
As students and families of the Community Academy of Philadelphia, Charter School, each of you has chosen education, structure, and membership in our community as a special place in your lives. The students wear our uniform with pride, follow the rules, and care about each other. We strive to be a true community.
Each day, you create your singular happiness in the classrooms and hallways of our school, and you create your own Heaven in the everlasting universe of knowledge: Math, English, humanities, arts, music, science and history. As the philosopher said, “Only the educated are free!” Life is a blessing but has no guarantee. You are the creator of your personal Heaven and Earth. Choose to make it good. Make the miracles keep happening. Remember that each day, you have the power to create the future. With each decision, you create tomorrow and eternity. Choose well.