Remarks for Ambassador Dogu  at American School Tegucigalpa President’s Day Lunch

Good afternoon, Eagles!

It’s great to be here again with AST’s entire team.

Thank you for the opportunity to join your celebration of U.S. President’s Day.

Many of you already know what I’m going to tell you now.

But for some of you students, I’ll bet it’s the first time you’ll hear it…

So, get ready for a quick history lesson!

The third Monday of February is known as Presidents’ Day in the United States.

For nearly 100 years, we honored our first president, George Washington, on his birthday, February 22.

And February 22 can be any day of the week; it changes every year.

In 1968, the U.S. Congress passed something called the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”.

It moved celebration for some official holidays to a Monday.

President’s Day is one of those holidays.

That is why today, the United States honors our first president on the third Monday in February, which was yesterday…

And not on Washington’s actual birthday, which is tomorrow.

But many people say the Presidents’ Day also honors Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Lincoln was the United States’ 16th president.

He was born on February 12.

Washington and Lincoln were not just presidents. They were also leaders.

And that brings me to my reason for being here today at AST.

I want to talk to you about what it means to be a good leader.

Leaders are problem solvers, understanding, responsible, aware of others’ feelings, organized, self-confident, disciplined, and inspirational, among other qualities.

Sometimes these qualities show themselves naturally early in our lives.

Other times, someone helps instill these leadership qualities in us.

It is different for every person, in every place, at every time.

Regardless, we know that here in AST, dedicated teachers, Directors, and staff are working very hard to form future leaders.

Our team in the Embassy has shared with me examples of how many of you are showing leadership here at school and elsewhere in Tegucigalpa.

For instance, you are involved in outreach opportunities, from feeding the homeless to fundraising to support a foundation for children with cancer.

You are leading and inspiring others to be, and do, their best for their communities, their families, their country, and the world!

You, my excellent Eagles, are already demonstrating what it means to be a leader.

Now, on a personal note…

It is not easy for our families to move overseas to new countries with new languages and new cultures.

Imagine what it’s like for young people facing a new school in a new place every couple of years.

That is why I want to thank the Eagles team for YOUR leadership in supporting the U.S. Embassy’s families.

And now I look forward to the activities you have put together so that we can celebrate U.S. Presidents’ Day together.