My fellow graduates, family, faculty, and friends. Today is the day where we say goodbye, and close this chapter of our lives. We are now turning the page and setting off on a whole new journey. We’re growing up and are going to start facing challenges that will begin to define us. Just a few minutes ago, Karlie took us down “Lancer Lane” as we looked back on our high school memories. We made our way through the maze, just kept swimming, set sail with Moana, and embraced who we really were, but now it’s time to move on.
Salpointe has served as a foundation for all of us these past four years. You might have constructed your knowledge, gained wisdom, grown in faith, or developed character. Whatever case it may be, you are a lot different now than you were freshman year. As you move on in life, you are going to reminisce on this experience and remember the mark you left behind. I mean, you might forget what “MLA Format” means and how to graph a quadratic equation, but you’ll remember your first school dance or that women’s athletic teams have won six state titles in the past two years...and of course we can’t forget about our boys finishing as runner-ups. All those memories are now a principal part of you. I know I’m going to remember being on the sidelines of every football game, waving my shiny, gold poms in the air as I gazed out into the crowd. But, there’s something even more powerful that we will continue to carry with us: the people who have inspired us and taught us something new every day. Whether they’re teachers, coaches, or friends, their image will be ingrained in our minds here on out. There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Something I’ll never forget feeling from the Salpointe community is the outpouring love and faith I encountered around every corner, in big and small ways. For some of us, high school was the first time we ever learned about God or attended Mass, understanding the true meaning of each aspect; and for others, it was just a repeat of the same old stories we’ve been learning since kindergarten. I think it’s important to point out that what we learned in these theology classes was much more than just Bible verses and who the Apostles were. We learned about the dignity of the human person, how to treat others with kindness, and the true essence of what it means to be loved. Whether you experienced this in class with Mrs. McGarey-Vasey, serving your community during IMPACT week, or on Kairos with the people sitting a few rows down from you, it was something we got to witness together.
This moment, right here, right now, is monumental. High school graduation is a big milestone in someone’s life. But, we have so many more milestones to hit! Buying a house, getting a job, paying bills, filing taxes; all that good stuff. But honestly, part of what makes life worth living is having goals and dreams. I want you to flash forward 10 years from now, when many of us will walk across that football field, hand in hand, behind a banner that reads: “Class of 2018”. When you picture yourself, what do you see? Are you already established in your career? Are you still in school? Are you married with a family? Whatever you see, hold onto it. Make that image your new goal and work towards it. If that vision is blurry right now, it’s okay. Dedicate yourself to finding out who you are and who YOU want to be. Along the way, that might change. In fact, it will most likely change a few times. But no matter what, stay true to yourself.
Now more than ever, being firm in your beliefs and your thoughts is extremely important. As a class, we have a lot of power. But as a generation, the change we could make happen is incredible. In a decade or so, our opinions will hold so much value and that should not go unnoticed. If you believe in something worth fighting for, then fight for it! Even if you alone cannot change the world, then you can most definitely change someone else’s world.
There’s no telling what the future holds for each of us, but I have a feeling it’s very bright. Whether you go off to become a doctor or a teacher, you are going to make your very own mark on this world that is unique to you. I want to end this with a quote from one of my favorite songs called, “My Wish”, that I think is very fitting for this moment. “My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, You never need to carry more than you can hold, And while you're out there getting where you're getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too, Yeah, this, is my wish.”