Manner Monday®: Senior Spotlight on Courtney Thompson

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May is knocking on our door, which means graduation is fast approaching!  We’re kicking off our Senior Spotlight this season with Courtney Thompson.  We will post the remaining Senior Spotlights as regular blog posts, over the next few weeks and will also announce them in the ‘Weekly Update’ emails.  If you’re not receiving the ‘Weekly Update’ emails, please visit this link to update your choice of which emails you would like to receive:

In the meantime, I’d love to introduce you to Courtney.  She asked me if she could speak at the final ball of the season this year as she had a few words to share with her fellow students.  She also asked if I trusted her to speak without me seeing her speech first and I said absolutely. Little did I know that she would have me in tears (good tears) by the end of it all!  Thank YOU Courtney for reminding us of why we do what we do!

“Starting in seventh grade, I remember feeling intimidated when I walked into the Marriott hotel for my first class.  I was very shy and closed off and I remember asking myself if this would turn into another school where cliques form and quiet girls get left out, because everyone there seemed to know everyone else.  However, when we lined up to enter the ballroom, I had a feeling it was going to be different.  My escort and I walked up to this lady who was the instructor, I suppose.  She wore this big smile, the kind that you can’t help smiling back at.  Through that entire year, I knew only one person, but Mrs. Vega never forgot my name and that’s what encouraged me to return.

At the ball my ninth grade year, I sat with these girls that all seemed to know each other, but they didn’t leave me out of a single conversation.  I was taken aback because it was unusual that someone would go out of their way to continue a conversation with me. To this day we are still friends because every class after that they continued to approach me and include me in conversation.  That is how I became friends with Presley, Jordan and Payton.

The way those girls reached out to me inspired me to reach out to others who maybe didn’t know anyone or who looked uncomfortable.  My efforts in this actually changed my perspective on myself as well.  I became more confident in myself, and my interactions with other people; for example, one of my biggest fears in the world was public speaking.  It was so bad that I would pass out sometimes and word spread of this, soon all my teachers knew not to call me out.  However this class taught me to see this as a challenge and here I stand in front of all of you, speaking.  I learned that there is more to this class than learning proper etiquette or the placement of dining utensils.  Mr. and Mrs. Vega have been teaching all of us to embrace who we are and do so with confidence so that everyone can see the light within us.  We have become a family within this program because not only do we learn to accept ourselves, but also we learn to accept and be open-minded toward our peers.  I came into this class hoping to find people like me, and I found that plus something greater; people who are the exact opposite.  It’s better because there is never a dull moment; you are always learning something new about the people around you.  Mrs. Vega is my role model.  She has inspired me to become someone I never thought I could be.  I’ll always remember a quote she shared with us by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”   That quote itself has led me through many tough situations and I will always remember it.

Expeditions In Etiquette has been the biggest blessing.  It has given me the ability to be comfortable in every situation and more importantly, to help others gain confidence as well.  It has made me a better friend, a better student, a better sister, and a better mentor.  No matter what comes along, I know the lessons that I’ve learned here can never be taken away from me.  Expeditions In Etiquette will always be a part of me because I would not be the same person today if I had not walked into the Marriott hotel and introduced myself to Mrs. Vega six years ago.  I love this program and I hope to make an impact on someone’s life one day, like Mrs. Vega made an impact on mine.”

And… I have a kleenex in hand – wow… again, thank you Courtney. Thanks for letting us know in such heartfelt words how you feel. We love you, and we love what we do!!!

Click to Tweet:   “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”-EleanorRoosevelt #MannerMonday



In other news…

Spring Special Registration Discount is available
Registration Information for 5th-8th Grades for 2015-2016 Season

Registration Information for 9th-12th Grades for the 2015-2016 Season

Multi-Season Discount
You’ve asked and we have listened!  We now offer a multi-sesason discount to families who would like to register a child for three consecutive years in the program.  As each season builds on the previous; maximum benefits are achieved by continued exposure for a minimum of three years (many students participate for 8 consecutive years).

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue


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