Life lessons sometimes come in the form of change and challenges. This has been the
case for Macey Atkins, a senior at Amelia Academy. In her Chapel Talk, delivered on
February 14, Macey described the life lessons she has learned. And, she said, “If you
know me, you know I am going to talk about soccer.”
Macey joined the Academy in tenth grade, and the transition was difficult at first.
“I was very disappointed and confused at the time because it was such a big change,”
she said. After she adjusted to a new school environment, Macey decided to stay at the
Academy. “I knew this was where I was going to spend my last three years of high
school,” she said.
Macey credited her teachers who played a role in that decision to remain at
Amelia Academy, including Mrs. Teri Wyatt. “It is always the best when we can talk
about something, whether it’s good or bad, [Mrs. Wyatt] will always listen,” Macey said.
Soccer has been the mainstay of Macy’s life. “I started playing when I was two
years old, and I am still going at it today,” she said. She recalled the first time she

played goalie at nine years old. “I was very nervous at first, but I put on a brave face
and walked to the keeper box,” she said. It was during that game she “realized being a
goalie was for me,” she said.
Another great moment in her soccer career came last year during a tournament.
Her team was playing for the championship with the score tied at 0. “I had a pep talk
with my teammates and told them to keep the game to a tie. I would win the shootout,”
she said.The score remained a tie, and Macey went on to win the shootout.
In March of last year, she experienced “something terrible and life changing”
when she had a 30-minute seizure. After a visit to her neurologist, Macey found out she
would lose her driver’s license for six months. “I was devastated,” she said. At school,
her friend Priscilla offered support and sat with her in every class. After another seizure,
she was prescribed medication and learned that it would be six more months before she
could drive.
“In the first few months of being on my medication, every emotion I felt got
stronger,” she said. “It made me say things I wish I hadn’t.” Offering her mother an
apology, she also expressed gratitude to her brother Matthew. “He helped me a lot
during this time and always had words of encouragement,” she said.
After the months passed and a final electroencephalogram (EEG) test, Macey
learned she could drive again. “I started to drive, and now I feel completely like myself
again,” she said. During this difficult time, Macey said she tried to stay positive and
focus on the future. For her fellow students, she advised them to appreciate everything
they have during their years of school. “I am here to tell you to savor every moment. You

may have bad days; you may have great days. But, it is important to embrace every
single day,” she said.
Attending her Chapel Talk were Macey’s parents, Torie and Timothy Atkins. Also
present were her grandparents, Diane and Paul Martin.