• Dr. Herpy

Graduation Speech For Andrew Britten

AndrewGood evening members of the board, students, faculty and staff, parents and relatives of graduates. Today is a day that is quite the milestone for a student. High school graduation.

After completing your senior year in high school, there are plenty of directions that life can take you, it’s up to you to decide where your journey will take you. Many choose to go to college and get their degree, some even seek higher education after traditional college. You can learn a trade, or even serve in our nation’s military. There are so many options that will help you find your calling. Students, look around you.

You see your parents, family friends, and many other people who will be there and support you on your journey to wherever you decide to aim for. They will be there to give you advice, help you make the tough decisions, and even pick you up when you fall down.

These people only want to see you succeed and will go great lengths to provide you with a bridge to cross. I can remember back to a time when I was younger. I used to tell my grandfather that when I “grew up” that I wanted to be just like, him. His response was always the same, saying “Andrew, don’t be like me, be better than me”. That’s an example for me personally that shows how much your family is there for you and wants you to excel in life.

AndrewAs a family you may have disagreements…. all families do, but at the end of the day if you don’t have someone to turn to when you’re lost, someone to pick you up when you’re down or someone to push you to do well when you’re burned out, you have your family. You reflect and represent your family every single day and they want you to represent them in the best way possible. I’m willing to bet that they will do whatever it takes to help you on your expedition through life.

Another point that I want to touch on is your definition of success. I personally believe that the word success has a different meaning depending on who you are. Success can mean a variety of things, financial stability, that cliche white picket fence dream, carrying on the family business, even happiness, anything. The dreams are endless. How are you going to attain your dream? Dreams don’t come knocking at your door. You have to take risks, put yourself out there and you can’t be afraid of what others think. I think that the last point prevents many people from following their dreams and their definition of success. Caring about what others think or their judgements will do nothing for you.

Imagine how many great thinkers and other minds are hiding their thoughts and ideas because of others. I see that as a barrier that you must cross to truly get the most out of life and pursue your goals. You have to expose yourself to your fears and other barriers that may accost you in order to reach where you are hoping for. Another factor that people use as an excuse is age.

Age does not have to stand in the way of anything that you want to achieve. This winter, a few fellow classmates and I had the opportunity to help those in need and make a change that will forever impact the lives of others.

We did this through the organization, Appalachia Service Project located in Jonesville, Virginia. The project partners with local businesses and other donors to help families who are in need of repair to their homes. We found out about the Appalachia Service Project through a group called Project SALES.

AndrewThe group sent approximately 40 students to Virginia including students from Kenston. The experience was truly eye opening and I really got to experience a setting much different than Bainbridge. Many other students here at Kenston are making a difference as well. A good amount of students in the class of 2019 have taken mission trips to places near and far or volunteered locally with organizations such as The Weils, Chagrin Falls Park Community center, The Cleveland Food Bank and many others. Not only do these experiences and journeys help the people you’re there for, they help you learn about an environment different than your own. I know many of you here have taken the opportunity but if you haven’t, I challenge you to do so. You will find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences.

I know you’ve heard this many of times… but don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t. Be more concerned about what you do, instead of what others think. If you let every little comment and judgement from others bring you down, it’ll be so much harder for you to do well in life. Afterall, you aren’t going after your dream for them, it’s for you. Your family will be there for you every step of the way. Once you reach your definition of success, make sure not to forget who was with you at your worst, and best. And also, to all of those parents and grandparents out there who want their children and grandchildren to be the best that they can be, we promise to give it our best shot!

Thank you, I wish you all the best in all of your future endeavors. I’d also like to remind you that we as Bombers are a family and that Bombers fly together.