The experience of moving to a new country presents challenges and learning opportunities. Such was the case for Nick Flippin, who delivered his Chapel Talk on February 28, 2024 to an audience that included his parents, Miuv Kaewueangklang and Pat Flippin. He said that this experience helped shape him into the person he is today. Having lived in two different cultures, Nick has gained a broader vision of his life after graduation from Amelia Academy.

“To step foot in the United States was a different experience because I came from Thailand,” he said. As a fifth-grade student, Nick found the adjustment challenging, especially learning a new language. “The first day of school was one of the scariest things in my life because everything was different,” he said. He learned a new language and adjusted to a new culture. Eventually, he began making friends and creating the memories he cherishes today. “The most important thing I learned is not to be afraid of life because it can be scary sometimes,” he said.

His parents have taught him lessons that he values as much as his academic education. “My Dad taught me to be respectful and organized and that, with hard work, anything is possible,” he said. Nick shared a humorous anecdote that his father has often shared with him. From this story, Nick said he learned to keep trying when he makes mistakes. 

Nick admitted that he was never late to school until this year when he began driving himself. The credit for this goes to his Mom who has always told him that “being early is better than being late. She taught me to be two steps ahead,” Nick said. Both his parents have set a good example that he will try to follow.

Nick expressed gratitude to his parents for choosing Amelia Academy for him. The teachers helped him through the adjustment when everything was different. He is especially grateful to Leah Ray who helped him with math problems and worked with him in summer school. Despite low expectations of attending school in the summer, Nick said that he enjoyed the experience. 

Other teachers who impacted his life include Jacob Draper who taught history at the Academy. “He was a good teacher,” Nick said, “honestly, he was my role model.” Nick said that Angela Anderson, the Academy’s Athletic Director, has been a “second mother,” and her son, classmate Kyle Anderson, has been like a brother to him.

Knowing that change is a part of everyone’s life, Nick encouraged his fellow students to enjoy the experiences they have at Amelia Academy. “Learning to accept responsibility is not easy,” he said. Offering an apology to Mr. Cooper, the Academy’s longtime shop and art teacher, Nick said that an experience in shop class taught him to “think about the consequences of my actions.”

Adapting to a new country was not easy. However, Nick knows that his future will be enriched by this experience.