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The Aquilian

Family lasts forever

An+important+bonding+experience+for+my+family+was+our+recent+trip+to+Florence%2C+Italy.
An important bonding experience for my family was our recent trip to Florence, Italy.

Sporting events, concerts and parties all come and go, but family lasts forever. I’m Luke Dean, and I am a senior at Gonzaga College High School. I will be going to Texas Christian University next year in Fort Worth, Tex., leaving my family behind. My family is something that truly means a lot to me. They have been there through every obstacle in my life and have always supported me. Like many, I often lose sight of my important values. However, by seeing the huge transition that is ahead with college, I have been able to realign what’s important in my life.

Family life in the United States of America is changing. Two-parent households are becoming something that we don’t see as much with divorce rates up.  The importance of having two parents and a sturdy foundation as a family is of utmost importance. According to pewresearch.org, in 2014, 46% of children had parents that are together and in their first marriage. In 1960, this number was at 60%. In addition to this, the number of kids living with a single parent went from 9 percent in 1960 to 26%in 2014. According to Pew Research Center these changes are due to the fact that “Americans today are exiting marriages at higher rates than in the past.” This consistent decrease in marriages being held must have an impact on children’s lives considering family is what influences a child the most.

Having a strong and supportive family dynamic is very important because children reflect how they have been raised by their parents, and by having a loving and supportive family, they are far more likely to be set up to succeed. According to the Pew Research Center a total of  “88% of children who have at least one parent with a bachelor’s degree or more are living in a two-parent household.” The importance of education clearly has an impact on pursuing and holding marriages. Considering the family dynamic, it is important to have a strong foundation and a secure safety net. A strong foundation is important so that children can thrive in other areas of their lives. By being educated, parents are more likely to afford housing, groceries and other necessities that give their children the best opportunity to succeed. 

Senior Franco Bitar, a son in a family of five, has an older sister and younger brother; he holds family above all. He has lived in Mclean, Va. all his life. He attributes a fair amount of his success to his strong family foundation, including a father who has always been there for him. 

“My father is the one who has taught me the importance of having a good work ethic, and through my hard work, I have been able to achieve what I set my mind to,” Bitar said.

Bitar remarked how fortunate he is to have a good family who supports him through everything. 

“My family has stuck with me through it all, and that’s why I love them so much,” he said.

In the summer, Bitar enjoys spending time with his family in Panama where they bond over family dinners, water activities and cookouts.

While Bitar’s family is not perfect, it sure is a good standard to hold for other families to live up to in order to ensure that their children are set up to succeed. While his family spends time in Panama to bond, my family recently packed our bags to go to Europe this winter; it was the first time I had visited another country.

We traveled to Italy, and while we were there, we made some great memories. My brother Robby, my sister Mary Katherine and I grew closer together partially because we all had to sleep in the same room. We toured the Vatican, ate gelato and found unique restaurants. The memories we made in Italy will last forever, just like our family’s bond will. Every second I spend with my family brings me gratitude that I am not part of a statistic. My supportive family has helped me become who I am today and will carry me a long way.

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