Graduation Speech


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Hi, my name is Mary Smith, and I want to welcome you all to the County High School graduation ceremony tonight.

I came to County High School four years ago. As soon as I walked onto the campus I knew it was the right place for me. In fact if I were to describe CHS in one word it would be "family." Everyone here, students and staff, are the most understanding, supportive and encouraging group of people you could find. It is because of my "family" that I am graduating today.

My journey to this day has been filled with many challenges. I dropped out of school thinking that I did not need a high school diploma to accomplish the things I wanted in life. That was a mistake. Finding myself behind in credits, I enrolled in FAHS hoping to get back on track. The foundation for success was here. But soon after, I became pregnant and left school again. I was able to return to school because of the daycare at FAHS. I was more motivated this time around to find my dream of graduating. But my road took another unexpected turn leaving me a teen mom now to two. Once again with the help of the FAHS daycare I returned to school With the support of my "family" my dream is becoming a reality.

All of the other students here have stories of their own to tell. Stories of what brought them to FAHS, stories of what kept them here and stories of the obstacles they have had to overcome in their lives. They are about tragedy and triumph, success and failure and of will and determination to follow their dreams. It has been the dream of each and every student here tonight to graduate and that dream is finally coming true.

To my fellow graduates, I encourage you to continue to dream big. Whatever your goal is in life - dream to the next level. Believe me when I tell you that you can go farther than you think you can go. People who fail to dream do so because they cannot believe their dreams will come true. Never stop dreaming. James Dean once said, "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

On behalf of my fellow graduates, I would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at FAHS. You had so much faith in all of us.

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You believed in us and never gave up on us. When we were the rebels we were, you stood by us through thick and think. Your patience and devotion will never be forgotten. I would like to personally thank Dorothy Shake, Terri Kincade and Terry Doone. I couldn't have made it without you. Your work in the daycare is truly an asset to FAHS.

To our parents, mentors and friends, your love and support through this journey of ours means the world to us. Thank you for helping make our dreams come true and for celebrating tonight with us, the Figueroa Alternative class of 2003.


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