Mission Collegiate High School students had a special treat on Thursday, October 11, 2018, when they had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Francisco X. Stork. He is an award-winning author that has written seven novels, one of which is The Memory of Light, that MCHS students are fond of. Stork started writing after he retired from his law career of over thirty years.
“Mr. Stork shared personal anecdotes that were powerful and that resonated with many of our students. He came from humble beginnings and managed to work his way to the top by graduating from Harvard and Columbia Law School,” said Ms. Virginia Barnhart, MCHS Librarian. “He practiced law for 33 years before retiring, but his passion was always writing fiction.”
According to Stork, he shared that, not becoming a writer immediately after college is not something he regrets because all his experiences have helped him write his fiction today. He also inspired them to never assume it’s too late in life to pursue something they have always been passionate about.
“I found him to be very insightful…specifically, when he shared how he would create and develop a character,” said Carina Martinez (senior). “All the people he came across in his life truly did inspire so many of his characters and their attributes.”
The students were excited to meet Stork since they had already been introduced to his novel, The Memory of Light, during a book talk that the library hosted and they were huge fans of the author. Stork’s book was published in 2016 and was inspired by his own experience with depression.
“Meeting him was one of my highlights not only for the school year, but my entire high school experience,” said Jude Rodriguez (senior). “He is one of my favorite authors and the fact that he was so real about sharing how he first became an attorney to make a living and provide for his family then became an author much later in life, made me respect him even more.”
The book which many of the students already own, starts out with Vicky Cruz waking up in a mental hospital and realizing that her attempt at suicide was not successful. She meets several people while at the facility and gets to know their stories. She realizes that these individuals are honest, kind and hardworking and they even offer her an acceptance that she has never known before. A crisis forces the group to split up and leaves Vicky not knowing what to do.
Mission Collegiate High School library collaborates with other departments within the district in order to bring in authors such as Stork at least twice a year. This allows students to meet the authors and to listen to their personal backgrounds first hand.