An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Aidan C. ’20, student body president-elect

The following excerpts are from Aidan C. ’20’s speech to the Upper School student body during Lakeside’s annual Student Government presidential election.

How did I get here, you may ask? I’m going to be honest for a second: sometimes I forget. There are times Lakeside will point directly at me and say, “you are a leader.” A lot of the time I go, “Who? Them? Me?” The Google definition for leader is “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” Let me tell ya, I can command the dance floor, but that’s about it. I’m not your [student government VP] Peyton G. Try as I might, I cannot spit bars. And I’m especially not your [student government president] Sebastian A.: I cannot run all that well.

I’m just Aidan C. Aidan loves to sing karaoke. Aidan loves to read comic books. Aidan loves Beyoncé. When I forget why I’m here or how I got here, I remember that each of us is a part of this community for a reason… even Aidan C!

…We are going to do an activity. It’s going to feel a bit weird so bear with me. Students, in the next 15 seconds, I would like you to high five the person next to you and give them a compliment. And GO...

Okay, did you do it? Guess what? We, as a collective, just experienced 15 seconds of love. Now, skrrrr skrrrr, put on the breaks! I do not mean love as in a serious relationship, marriage, or anything else that may have popped into your teenage minds. No, I mean that I want to walk down a hallway and know people love me for who I am, or they’ve got my back, or they appreciate what I have to offer. I want to know that we are a team. That kind of love is what turns an institution into a community.

I think that, as a school, we forget that sometimes. And as your president, I’d do my best to make sure every single one of you knows you are where you are and who you are for a reason and you deserve love. Donna Summer and Beyoncé said it best: I love to love yah baby!

I’ve loved being your Student Government representative. It’s always meant more to me than just something to put on a resume. I began preparing when I wrote my first speech for Student Government and ever since then I have been growing and learning. As your representative, I’ve created the Lakeside lip dubs, co-created a sophomore retreat with Mae C., and even helped add some art to the wellness rooms focused around inclusivity and diversity. As well, I’ve had the privilege of being able to be a Student Awareness Council retreat leader and travel to Nashville for the Student Diversity Leadership Conference.

Next year, something I hope to implement is a designated time for all students to independently study, build, or invent something of their own choosing... To be completely honest, though, your year is up to you. I want to thank you for allowing someone like me to stand here and be heard.

Now, before I leave, do ya’ll want a little taste of what next year will be like if you vote Aidan C. to be your next president? I do this in the bathroom mirror every day before school. I would like all of you to stand up and point directly at yourselves. Now, as loud as you can, repeat after me. “I love myself. I deserve the best year ever! I slay all day!” Thank you Lakeside and vote Aidan C. for president!

Upper School students at assembly listen to speaker Aidan C

Students repeat Aidan's daily affirmation during his speech.