Since 2009, hundreds of Summit students have walked to the front of the Chapel and bared their souls to an audience of 400 peers, teachers, parents and special guests. Our Chapel Talks are poignant, enlightening and surprising. They reflect the diversity of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds of our student body.
For some, it's been a chance to reflect on what it's like to grow up. Liz (Edwards) Ford ’10 discovered how cool her dad really was. Brittany Williams ’11 challenged her audience to rethink the definition of beauty.
Some took it as an opportunity to embrace diversity. Isabelle Saldana ’13 likened her family dinner table to a meeting of the United Nations.
Others viewed Chapel Talks as a chance to shed humorous light on serious truths. Simon Chow ’11 suggested adding sprinkles not just to donuts but life itself.
At The Summit, our students expect to be in front of an audience at some point at every grade level. We begin preparing them for oral presentations in preschool. But Chapel Talks are a specific rite of passage in the Upper School, where we encourage seniors to polish their oratory skills as they reflect on who they are and who they want to be.
Soleil is a French adjective which means to finish with a high luster.
The Summit’s Oratory Leadership Program, Soleil polishes the oratory skills of Upper School students and guides them to become leaders of character. Soleil fosters and empowers personal growth in faith, character, morally-based leadership and formation of conscience.
Through a formal curriculum, students study speech as freshmen and take leadership classes as sophomores and juniors.
Chapel Talks is the fourth component of Soleil. Students also have opportunities to practice what they have learned through Soleil in assemblies, student-led activities, liturgy, the arts, extra-curricular activities, advisement and community events.
At its core, the Chapel Talks program holds that:
Interpersonal and oral communication is vitally important in a digital age.
Growth cannot happen without inquiry and reflection.
The historic chapel is the best place at The Summit to gather in God’s presence and get to know each other more fully.