This Star Won't Go Out Addresses AWHS

Earl Family Captivates the School Community

Wayne and Lori Earl from the This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation graced the stage of Archbishop Williams High School to deliver to our student body the powerful message "to live and love fully," by using the story of their daughter, Esther Grace Earl, a Quincy resident who died at 16 years old from thyroid cancer. The event was the apex of our school’s summer reading project in which all of our students, from Grades 7-12, read This Star Won’t Go Out, the biography of Esther largely constructed through her own journal entries.

The Earls captivated the audience by recounting how Esther was always conscientious of the amount of love in her life and that she always was trying to spread that love to all around her. A highlight of the talk came when they recounted a birthday present that Esther requested. She wanted her friends and family to make videos telling someone important in their life that they love him or her. The video has become a tradition called “Esther Day” and is carried on by groups of friends that Esther met online. Esther was part of many online communities, including the Harry Potter Alliance and a group they called Catitude.

At the conclusion of the schoolwide presentation and a question-and-answer session, the Earls held a private session with the seventh and eighth grade class, who were particularly excited to meet them.

After reading This Star Won’t Go Out, students in Grades 9-12 had to submit a project in which they had to either deliver a eulogy for Esther, debate the merits of reading literature about sick kids (“sick lit”), or debate the virtue of friendships made online. Grades 7 and 8 had to construct a movie poster for the book. Select posters were placed around the auditorium.

"Just be happy, and if you can't be happy, do things that make you happy, or do things that make you happy, or do nothing with the people that make you happy." --Esther Grace Earl