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Luca Lim was fascinated with short track speed skating as a young child watching the 2010 Winter Olympics, so he joined a local club. Seven years later, he qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, where he was one of the youngest skaters competing for the chance to represent the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PeyongChang.

For the last year, Luca has been training in South Korea, living by himself in a small satellite city of Seoul. While there, he consistently trained for 35-40 hours a week but still managed to stay connected with his teachers and classmates on the other side of the world and maintain good grades thanks to George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS), where he was enrolled for four years. 

Luca was chosen as the student speaker at the GWUOHS graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 23, in Washington, D.C. Check out what he had to say about his online school experience!

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the George Washington University Online High School community. It is an honor to be able to speak on behalf of the 2018 GWUOHS graduating class.

For four years, I have been enrolled under the GW program. Over the course of these four years I have taken extremely engaging and compelling classes. Over the course of these four years, I have also met some of the most supportive teachers and some of the brightest students. Yet, while I was taking these classes and creating these lifelong relationships, I was also 8,000 miles away from home in Korea, training 40 hours a week to give myself the opportunity to represent the United States at the Olympic Games. I ask myself now, as I did four years ago: would I be able to do this if I had not chosen George Washington? In any other school, would it have been possible for me to leave most of what I love and care for to train in a foreign land? Would I have been able to participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials if I had not made this crucial decision? My answer now, after having experienced it all, is “No.”

Over the course of these four years, my fellow students and I have developed to be both compassionate human beings and valuable members of our society. Our classes, teachers, family and friends have helped us achieve goals far surpassing what we could have thought possible. Who could have foreseen how far just four years of studying could have taken us? Now, though, it seems that we have reached a milestone – a milestone that may be but one of many along the extended path that is life. Simultaneously, however, this milestone also marks an end to a significant period in our lives.

As the graduating class, we now stand at the cusp of the greatest adventure we will ever embark upon. We are but one step away from beginning our lives away from those who we know so well. We are but one step away from laying our first stepping stone towards our goals.  We are but one step away from delving into a mysterious world, a world that is so unlike the world that our own parents stepped into when they themselves strode into life. From here on out, life will be OUR mysterious adventure. For what is life, but a mystery that high school strives to prepare us for?

In conclusion, I must thank the George Washington program for nurturing this class into a dynamic community ready for life’s surprises.

Since part of my senior year was devoted to British Literature, I find it appropriate to conclude by quoting one of the greats: “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow / That I shall say good night till it be ‘morrow.”

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