Archbishop MC O’Neil Catholic High School

My name is Jerico Sampang and I like to think that I’m pretty amazing. Is it true? Well, I don’t even know. But I’m always one to think optimistically. In all seriousness, I think I’ve done a lot to be proud of in my past four years of high school. It always seems to be difficult for people to admit they have done great things and I am no exception. But in my four years of being at Archbishop MC O’Neill Catholic High School, I’ve been a lead in many drama productions, a huge advocate for the arts, and have become the SRC president. But the most important thing I have done is become an LGBTQ+ role model for many students at O’Neill. It is never easy to stand up and be who you are without shame or fear. What I learned is courage is not the absence of fear, it is to be the master of fear. If you were to meet me on a regular day, I may come off as someone who is bold and brave. Truth be told, I fear for my safety every day. But what I know is that darkness does not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hatred does not drive out hatred, only love can do that. So, I drive out that fear by living a life of love and compassion. I hope to bring these lessons into my future of being a teacher, teaching students that it is okay to be different because there is no such thing as being normal! I want to become a teacher to guide lost souls who were once like me and to see the potential in those who cannot see it themselves. Sometimes, all anyone needs is someone who believes in them, and I intend to be that person.