2009/2010 Graduation Speech
Zachary was the 2010 Everest Academy Valedictorian and is currently attending UAB on a full scholarship (plus stipend).
Good Evening Honored Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and the Graduating Class of 2010. First I would like to say WE DID IT! When I was asked to do this speech I thought it would be impossible. As a Senior class we are unique in that we have not spent our school years with each other. There are no memories that bond us together. However, we are brought here tonight with something in common – one chapter of our life is ending and other is beginning.
I do know change is inevitable. As we stand on the brink of moving into life beyond high school change will be inevitable! It is inevitable and indeed gratifying to know that we have matured and became skills proficient ready to tackle and further our life-long education. It is inevitable that structures and processes and relationships will change in our day-to-day lives. It is inevitable that we will face new challenges and it is indeed inevitable that things may seem a little different in the years ahead. Yes, life is definitely going to become different.
But as we look back this evening on a journey - a journey that started out with hesitant, tentative steps, we can individually see just how far we have come. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother for her encouragement and her commitment to see me successful in all that I attempt. Her love for me has made a huge difference in my life. I would also like to thank my brother William for his love and support. William I thank you for influencing my life in such a positive way. To my Pastors – Larry and Sandy Ragland – thank you for giving me a church that has impacted my life in a wonderful way. Just as I have taken this opportunity to thank some important people in my life, it is my hope that my fellow students would do the same.
It is also my hope that the older generation will see the future seems destined to be in capable hands. It appears the graduating Class of 2010 has achieved exceptional things, perhaps too many to highlight or to single out. I am comfortable saying that I believe that the vast majority of Everest Academy students strove to achieve their potential, they aimed high, they set their goals and I believe they not only achieved them, but in fact surpassed them.
So fellow students, as you face and tackle the inevitable changes, hold true to yourself. Remember to hold onto your value system, develop a good work ethic but most importantly hold tight to your humanity. It is these qualities that will guide you further on your journey as you leave here this afternoon.
Today's achievements may fade or even be forgotten. The applause may become a distant memory and our diplomas and awards may gather dust on a shelf or in a drawer. But, we can leave here this afternoon full of faith and hope for the future that is ahead. It is with great honor I leave you with this scripture from the book of Numbers Chapter 6 verses 24 thru 26: God bless you and keep you. God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make your prosper. Thank you.