Dwight Award Speech by Jerry Herndon

What Florida Prep Means to Me by Jerry Herndon

Most people think Florida Prep is a place for rich kids, or if you ask the older generation, a military school. In reality, Florida Prep isn’t just a place, it’s also a community that is there to raise you up and support you, making you the best you that you can be. This is a place of safety, a place where the usual mainstream bad influences of a typical public school can’t reach. I’m not saying the school doesn’t have problems with students sometimes, but those students are kicked out to keep this safe haven, safe. The school isn’t perfect, it has its issues but they give it character, as well as the bigger issues we have that are being fixed. 

When people talk about a school they think basic math, reading, and science. Florida Prep is so much more. This school teaches some things you can’t find in any textbook; many life lessons that helped, and will continue to help, many students as they go on. Something you can also find at Florida Prep is Freedom. Freedom can mean many things, from our rights to what choices we make, but at this school, it means something different. They give us privileges and sure, we mess up, but they always find a way to get through to us and help us get back to the right track.

As most people at the front office know, I lose everything. That was a big part of the fact that I lived in a bag for most of my life as I had to switch between my parent’s houses every day and every other weekend. While attending this school I have found a new situation with my family that is more stable, and I am doing better in school, keeping my stuff together, and in my general effort of everything. Something I’ve always loved about this school is that it’s a place that is constantly changing physically, but the moral and feel of the place hasn’t changed since I first got here. It has always been upbeat and fun.

I am now going into high school, and I am very excited to see how this school grows with me because it does have its obstacles but it will be thrilling to see how I and this amazing community grow together. I am more grateful for this place and it means more to me than most will ever know. It is the best can of soup I could have ever asked for in my middle school years.