Good evening Kenston Class of 2018, loved family members, alumni, and honored guests. It is a honor to stand before you today as class president for the past four years and distinct privilege to call these students my fellow peers. Today is 22nd of May, 2018, and the Kenston Class of 2018 will no longer roam the halls of Kenston High School, never sit on the bottom row of the student section as a group again, never ride a school bus, and never go to the same school with the people we grew up with for 13 years. Our journey started by learning the alphabet, learning how to add two plus two, learning how to type with the speed skins in Mr. Boles class, and playing tag around the playground. And while our playground days may be over, our new playground is waiting and it is full of endless opportunities.
Growing up, did you ever notice the progress our world has made since we were born?
In a matter of 18 years we have shifted from dvds to using streaming channels such as Netflix and Hulu; We went from computers that weighed more than us to having them in our pockets; No longer do we have flip phones that required an antenna to be pulled out everytime we need to make a call, instead we have Facetime and phones with facial recognition. Social Media, Youtube, Electric Cars, GPS, Virtual Reality, Backup Cameras, Medical advances the list goes on and on but what do these inventions all have in common? One person. A person that dared to reach new heights, innovate, and inspire, even when others told them they would be a failure. That could be you.
Although our world has come a long way over the past eighteen years we still have many more advances ahead of us and it starts with you. You are the one to make decisions. You are the one connect and inspire. You are the one who could change the world.
We will leave the town we called home for the past eighteen years and be off to more exciting opportunities. But the question you should keep asking yourself is how can you make an impact in the world. And as we progress through life we will endure many challenges. We will face the headaches of adulthood, some will face the challenge of raising children, and the stress from work. But the one thing I hope you will never lose is your sense to dream. Continue to touch the hearts of everyone you meet and as Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
I now ask you to look around the room. As we enter our final moments, someone in the grade could be the doctor that cures cancer; a teacher that inspires youth; an engineer that implements cutting edge products; a future president; a business woman/man that invents the new Apple; a chef that creates the newest, most popular, five star restaurant; the architect that shapes the skyline of cities; or a soldier that earns the medal of honor. That could be you. We are the future.
So as we embark on this crazy journey we call life, how will you make an impact on this world? The world is waiting, so it is up to you to decide how you will be remembered for years to come. And in the words of the song artist Macklemore, “You die twice. Once when they bury you in the grave and the second time is the last time somebody mentions your name. So when you leave here on this Earth, did you take more than you gave? Did you look out for the people?, or did you do it all for fame.”
Kenston Class of 2018, it has been my pleasure to serve as president and I hope your future endeavours are filled with wonderful, unexpected surprises. Furthermore, I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and the most special places your heart has ever known. I am confident everyone of you will make a positive impact on this earth and cannot wait to witness it not as a fellow Class of 2018 member, but as your friend. And always remember we are all like a ray of sunshine. Your sun will set many times over different horizons throughout life, but always know your sun will emerge someplace beautiful, giving you more opportunities than you ever imagined.
Congratulations, Kenston Class of 2018, now go make your mark on this world.