Ms. Rogers Encourages Students to Honor the Humanity of All They Meet

  • High School
Ms. Rogers Encourages Students to Honor the Humanity of All They Meet
Colette Rogers

On Tuesday, November 13th the Maria Porras Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted its newest members. Below is the message from Our Head of School, Ms. Rogers, to these students.

So here you all are, having been selected to be a member of this society, and having chosen to be a member of the society as a result.  A society steeped in the notion of honor, not just academic honors but honor in leadership, scholarship, character, service. In all of these endeavors you are following the path of being honorable.


You have lit the candles, recited the pledge, now what?

Perhaps a little bit of perspective might help.

The honor of a woman for centuries in different cultures was tied to their bodies, their sexuality, their family's reputation. History moved on a little bit and it was also tied to their brains. In some cultures and in some eras a woman who dishonored herself by being independent, by thinking outside of the box society had placed her in, by having a voice and using that voice was considered: less than, not enough, troublesome, a “typical woman”, not knowing her place, or keeping her space.

The spirit of the National Honor Society actually is closely tied to the spirit of the sisters that founded our school. The original group of sisters, well they had pre-World War 2 Japan and post-World War 2 Japan to deal with.  You ladies have the reality of Covid. Imagine being young women sent to a foreign country to help educate other young women, struggling with a new language, with very little money and the knowledge that you would never see your family again. Imagine being a Japanese young woman attracted to a religion your family didn't follow or didn't know much about and having a commitment to wanting to dedicate your lives to helping others, and in some cases being ostracized by your family as a result of all that.  Hiding as a community in the mountains of Nagano foraging for food in the villages and after the war making your way to Yokosuka and setting up the first of the Seisen schools. Lighting the candle today may seem a little bit trite when you think of the honor of those women who have gone before us.

So this is your challenge as members of this society dedicated to a Spanish sister long dead in a school created by a group of sisters who believed in educating women for social and cultural transformation.This is your challenge:
Nurture your sense of honor in honoring God, in honoring yourself and in honoring others. Do this in how you treat others with respect and dignity. Do this in how you treat yourselves with respect and dignity.

As we look around the world today we see how current social political and health circumstances are highlighting issues and challenges.  We see how quickly human dignity can be stripped away and we see how a lack of honor, and a lack of honoring, can have tremendous effects on everybody. 

But there's always hope.
If you honor the humanity in everyone around you there is always hope.

So that is your true challenge. To honor the humanity in everyone you meet. Mr. Lee spoke about the hallways, the classes, the events. In everyone you meet, honor their humanity and then there will be always hope.

So my congratulations to you all and I look forward to seeing you rise to the challenge.

Colette Rogers

November 9th, 2021

Group of students and teachers
Photos by Zarah Mathew ('23)
Watch the 2021 Seisen NHS Induction Ceremony

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