I Am An American

In 2018, the Joan Beauregard Endowment for Discovery and Enrichment was established with proceeds from the auction Fund-A-Need and other generous donations made in honor of our former Head of School upon her retirement.

The endowment exists to create experiences, for HRS students and our community, to broaden and deepen their understanding of our world through a variety of activities and resources. The goal is to expand cultural, historic, civic, artistic and scientific thinking.

At the time the endowment was established, Joan provided this quote as her motivation:

“The greatest wealth a man may acquire is the wisdom he gains from living. And sometimes, out of the small beginnings, come the forces that share a whole life.” -John Tucker Battle

This is because Joan believed in the importance of offering student learning experiences above and beyond the classroom. She wanted to extend learning opportunities, widen conversations, and spark passions. The goal: opening the door to the future.

On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, we were thrilled to welcome author Martha Brockenbrough, HRS parent of alum, and illustrator Julia Kuo to campus to share their talents and to talk about their new book, I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story, with HRS students of all levels.

I Am an American follows the life of Wong Kim Ark, who was born in the United Stated to Chinese immigrants. At the time, birthright citizenship was not guaranteed, and he fought to be recognized as an American. He took his fight all the way to the Supreme Court, where he won. It’s a book about inclusivity, respect, and believing in yourself.

The process to create a new book can be long and complex, with years of research, and sketches that start as rough ideas before transforming into complementary artwork.

But when the words and imagery are combined, they transport the reader into another world, making the reader feel empathy and compassion for the characters. This is the shared vision of both Martha and Julia - providing readers content that elicits emotion.

We are grateful to the Joan Beauregard Endowment for sponsoring this fantastic activity and providing the rich rewards new perspectives can bring!