A Heartfelt Speech
Ethan Maxwell, a senior at Gross Catholic, recently addressed our President’s Circle at their annual dinner. The text of his speech follows.
“Good Evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Ethan Maxwell. I am a senior at Gross Catholic. I have six siblings all from Guatemala and two siblings currently at Gross Catholic with me. My mother is in her 11th year of teaching Spanish and her sixth year teaching Spanish at Gross Catholic. My father is a radio host on 94.5FM “The Answer.” I came here tonight to share my story with you and also how I believe Gross Catholic chose me.
“I am very involved here at Gross Catholic; I am in Drama, Jazz band, Pep and Concert band, a L.I.F.E Core team member, yearbook staff member, Student Ambassador, American Sign Language club, and book club.
“As I stated, I was born in Guatemala and at a very young age I was adopted by a woman who raised me and two of my siblings in the San Francisco area. When I reached school age, I was enrolled into a special education program. For about fourteen years, I thought life was treating me pretty well. Then God decided to throw a curve ball at my mother. She was diagnosed with cancer. In October of 2015, after starting my freshmen year, things went downhill. I was failing classes and trying to be someone I wasn’t. Then we received a phone call from my mom’s relatives in Council Bluffs, Iowa to come and live with them so they could help take care of my mom during her illness. So we moved to Council Bluffs and I enrolled at Abraham Lincoln High School, but, sadly, on October 18th cancer took my mother’s life. I remember feeling very angry and deeply depressed, however, I tried really hard to keep my hopes up that things would eventually get better.
“During Christmas break, our Aunt informed us of a family who heard about our situation and wanted to adopt my brother, sister and me. This family soon adopted us and they became our second family. Thank you to Pam and Chip Maxwell, my parents, who are here tonight, for loving me and my siblings and making us part of your family. They chose to enroll us at Gross Catholic High School as soon as the Christmas break was over. It was a little overwhelming at first because I did not know what the Catholic faith was all about. But it didn’t take long for me to settle in to the new school. I made it through my sophomore and junior year. I believed everything was the way God wanted it to be. Gross Catholic was a safe, welcoming and faith-filled community. Gross Catholic helped me in my life and has given me opportunities I never imagined I could have. This school has set me up for success.
“I want to thank all of YOU for being so generous with your financial support to Gross Catholic. You give so many students, like me, an opportunity to make dreams come true. Thank you also for your prayers.
“I also want to thank the staff of Gross Catholic for helping me become the best I can be…from a special education student to a mainstreamed student who now has a 3.2 GPA.
“My future plans are to attend Iowa Western Community College and then move on to a University. I am still undecided in a field of study.
“And finally, a special thank you to my parents, Pam & Chip Maxwell for showing me what love is and for allowing me to attend Gross Catholic High School. I know my education will take me far in life.
“Thank you all again and have a good evening.”
About Gross Catholic
One of Nebraska’s premier private schools, Gross Catholic High School is a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through academic excellence in the Marianist tradition. Recognized locally for its outstanding education, welcoming atmosphere, competitive sports programs, engaging activities, robust faith, and boundless service work, Gross Catholic has energized the Omaha area for 50 years. We are Faithful, Compassionate, and Driven!
To discover the Gross Catholic difference, contact us at 402.734.2000 or visit our Admissions page at grosscatholic.org.