Travis Manion Foundation assembly shows students the importance of character


Guest Speaker from Travis Manion foundation talks about the importance of character Photo by Dara Jaffe

Tilly Cohen

Guest Speaker from Travis Manion foundation talks about the importance of character Photo by Dara Jaffe

On Thursday, Oct. 10,  Tom Hixon came to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from the Travis Manion foundation. This foundation is known for encouraging veterans and  victims‘ families to develop positive character traits to help future generations. 

Travis Manion was killed by a sniper in Iraq in 2007; his friend Brendan Looney also passed away due to a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Though both men did not make it out alive they still had a bond like no other. They believed the most important training that they ever received was their character. The legacy of Travis Manion still lives on, as well as the quote “If not me, then who”.

The foundation felt a strong connection to MSD after the events of Feb. 14, 2018. 

“I have a personal connection to this [foundation] since my father was killed last year in the shooting,” Tom Hixon said.“The goal of the foundation is to install leadership and characteristics for coming generations.”

Tom Hixon is the son of MSD coach Chris Hixon who was killed at MSD on Feb. 14, 2018.

Tom Hixon started a nonprofit scholarship fund dedicated to his father’s memory. His passionate attitude towards people’s character development led him to describe this quality as who you become and he elaborated on how it is better to surround yourself with light-hearted people. He strongly believes that it’s important to surround yourself with positive people and good influences, which in the end will reflect on yourself.  

After the assembly, where nearly half of the auditorium was filled, many students that attended felt touched by what they had gotten to listen to. Some even decided to speak out about it.

“Hearing all this made me realize that it’s really important to surround yourself with good people…this made me feel motivated to improve my own character,” freshman Brianna Coughlin said.

Another student even mentioned that Travis Manion is their new role model and guide to follow.

“After hearing his story, I started to think about how much better for me it would be if I used him as a guide,” freshman Erin Nixon said.

Assistant principal, Sandra Davis brought this foundation to MSD  specifically for students to understand the importance behind it character. 

“It is an opportunity for our students to have the importance of character and leadership,” Davis said.“The message “If not me, then who” resignates in all circumstances and talks about overcoming obstacles and having the ability to help others.”

The assembly informed students about the importance of having good characteristics and how to become a positive leader. It also guided some students to be more motivated, similarly to Manion when he was working tirelessly to become a strong leader.