On today’s Satellite Sisters podcast, Liz read excerpts from this letter. Emaleigh Hutchison is a graduate of Dorothy Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Her mother Heather Hutchison is a longtime Satellite Sister and part of an effort to have every one of the 3000 Douglas students get a letter of support when they return to classes next week. To contribute your own letter, send a pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay noisy, Emaleigh.
Dear Douglas Student,
My name is Emaleigh, and you don’t know me, but I know you. I graduated from Stoneman Douglas in 2015, only three years ago. I am now at the University of Florida, four hours from home, our shared home. My graduating class celebrated the school’s 25th year in session, and the year was full of school spirit. We watched old videos, looked through old yearbooks, and listened to the teachers we had that once graduated from Douglas themselves. I loved high school, but I loved our high school more. Teachers like Mr. Jeter, Mr. Krar, and Mrs. Edgar changed my entire life, and I know that you will have encountered your share of amazing, life-changing teachers, faculty members, and friends by the time that you graduate. I just want to tell you that, other than the people currently at your school, you have 28 years’ worth of alumni, all around the world, behind you, hoping to build you up and support you to be the best you can be. We are all so proud of you all. Just like my time at Stoneman Douglas defined me, your time will define you, and you will rise above, like the Eagle that you are. I walked the same hallways that you walk now, I experienced puppy love, and heartbreak, and stress, and the greatest times with friends. That is all that high school should be. We learned, we explored, we discovered ourselves in a safe environment. That is all that high school should be. Stoneman Douglas gave me every opportunity to succeed, and that is all that high school should be. That is all I would ever want for current and future students. I am sorry, but I am also so proud of you. You have a community to lean on as you grow, because you are still a child (I feel like I am still a child), and I know that you will do amazing things despite the tragedy that you experienced. You are so much stronger than you know! You have the entire Douglas family and Parkland community behind you. Although it is a slogan that we did not quite understand when I was in school, I finally understand how important it is to remember these words: Be Positive. Be Passionate. Be Proud to Be an Eagle. You will make it through this, and your generation will change the world!