It takes a great leap of the imagination to go back forty (40) years to the foundation of Urawa Ake-no-Hoshi Senior High School for Girls. But, the reality is as close to me now as it was forty years ago.
Who, having lived that experience, can forget the opening ceremony for twelve valiant students and twelve eager teachers standing in front of twelve sets of courageous parents, grand-parents, relatives and friends, ready to begin together the great adventure of learning.
The attractive, modern-looking, new senior high school was built on the solid foundation of the faith, hope and love of the Sisters of Assumption, members of an educational Congregation, who dared to dream that, in this wide-open space overlooking lovely rice paddies and sturdy bamboo groves, some day an envisioned educational endeavor would become a reality. And so it has !
Through its students and graduates, Ake-no-Hoshi : Mary, the Morning Star, would reach out to the wider world to spread its message of the Good News that each individual, created in the image and likeness of God, was important and indispensable. The school motto : " Be your best and truest self " served as a daily incentive for every student to develop her own unique talents, and to use them to help build a better world: whether in the seemingly restricted area of a traditional family setting, or in the wider world of art, commerce, and politics, or of a hitherto unexplored field of knowledge and adventure.
My own educational ministry has brought me to the Eternal City of Rome where I have lived and worked for approximately ten years. One of the great joys and satisfactions I have experienced while here is to receive news of / from former students, or meet some of my former colleagues and hear about what is happening at Urawa Ake-no-Hoshi.
The great news item of the recent past was the opening of Urawa Ake-no-Hoshi Junior High School for Girls. This school represents a great step forward in opening up opportunities for young women from the surrounding areas. I mention-among so many other achievements-only this one, which is truly the fulfillment of years of visioning and planning on the part of the actual members of the Board of Ake-no-Hoshi Gakuen, as well as all its past and present members; the faithful Association of Benefactors; the dedicated Groups of Parents; and the enthusiasm of the Graduates themselves who have lived up to the ideal of "being their best and truest selves." I salute you, beloved Graduates ! Continue to " Bloom where you are planted ! "
Evelyn R. Brault, sasv