Ward Melville High School students and staff continued their mission of creating a culture filled with compassion, acceptance and awareness as they celebrated Patriot PRIDE (Peace, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, Encouragement) Day.

This year’s program centered on the words and story of Rohan Murphy, an inspirational speaker who promotes the message of living a “no excuses” life. Mr. Murphy, who lost his legs at birth, spoke about how he worked to overcome life’s obstacles and physical challenges in order to achieve his personal standards for success. He told the students about how he pushed himself to achieve both academically and athletically, as he went on to attend and become a Division I wrestler at Penn State University.

“Every single day in the world, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things in their lives,” said Mr. Murphy. “Don't let anyone tell you that you can’t or get in the way of accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself. Life is all about choices, and even the small choices will shape a large part of your future.”

To continue the message of the day, several school clubs organized informational booths in the school’s commons area. The activities at these booths included creating a chain of kindness, writing pride-filled messages on a Tree of Kindness and seeking inspirational messages from the leaves of a paper tree.