Shawn Gets His Wish: Fallin In Elgin
Sat, 04/08/2017 – 2:36am Josh Rouse from the Lawton Constitution
ELGIN – Shawn Hilliary’s winter wish was finally fulfilled Friday when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin paid Elgin Middle School a visit.
Elgin Middle School teachers started the Winter Wishes program last year by asking each student to make a wish for himself or herself and for another student in the school. The wishes were each fulfilled during the last week of school before winter break all but Hilliary’s wish. The eighth-grader wanted to meet the governor, but her busy schedule prevented her from visiting at the end of the year.
Representatives told the school administration that she would try to make it to Elgin Middle School in the near future.
She fulfilled that promise and Hilliary’s wish with a visit Friday.
“It’s cool to have such an important person come and to see you specifically,” Hilliary said. “I didn’t know if she would be able to come, but that’s what I wanted my wish to be.”
He waited excitedly inside the school office when Fallin and her entourage pulled up to the building. Not only was he about to have a chance to meet the governor, but he was also going to personally escort her to a room where several of his middle and high school classmates awaited to ask questions of their governor. Once that part of the visit was over, she would be escorted on a tour of the school campus.
For his part, Hilliary was just happy to be able to meet her.
“I really couldn’t think of any questions to ask her,” he said. “I’m just going to let a bunch of the other students ask questions and go off of what they say.”
After a short meet-and-greet outside, Hilliary and Fallin made their way to a room where representatives from the middle school’s student council and others waited. The governor spoke to them briefly about her childhood and how she transitioned from working as a page in the state House of Representatives to public office and eventually to the governor’s office.
“It was very exciting,” she said. “I volunteered in a couple of campaigns. By the time I was in my 30s, I ran for office and was elected to office. You guys can do the same thing.”
Fallin learned more about the Winter Wishes program and then questioned what the students wanted to do with their lives and careers once they left high school. Some wanted to be scientists. Others wanted to be engineers, a popular choice for Fallin, who emphasized Oklahoma’s STEM offerings. One wanted to be a professional basketball player. She offered a piece of advice for those in the room and anyone else who was listening no matter what the students wanted to do, they could all achieve their dreams.
“You guys can be anything you want to be,” she said. “I had no clue I was going to be governor. It didn’t even cross my mind. Dream big, study, work hard, stay out of trouble. Do the best you can. If things don’t go right, it’s OK. Turn around and go the other direction. You’ll have some wins. You’ll have some losses. Things will be good. Things won’t always work out. Just always keep going forward. Don’t let the past hold you back and you can be anything you want to be.”