Graduation Speech: Carry On!

Graduation Speech: Carry On!

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I will open with a quote, "a failure is not someone who tries and fails, but rather someone who fails and gives up."

I started my freshmen year of high school at East High. From the start I struggled to complete my school work. Low motivation was the major factor that eventually led to me failing english, math, science, physical education, you name it I failed it. As I began to lose more credits and fail more courses my self esteem plummeted along with my motivation. By my sophomore year I felt like a major failure and as such I wanted desperately to drop out of high school. With the little motivation I had left and tremendous support from my mother I continued school for another year. As my junior year wore on however it became apparent that I was falling in short in my courses once again. My failures seemed have stacked up all through high school and I was now left to face a pile of failings a mile high.

In a last ditch effort I consulted my high school councilor and discussed what options I had to finished school. After careful consideration I decided that Winema was the option for me. I was wrong if I thought that Winema was just a means of getting my diploma. It goes fare beyond academic instruction only. Winema, I learned, is a place where you form friendships that contribute to your educational learning as well as to the development of your identity. Through the use of traditional and alternative teaching styles the school brings communication, art, and critical thinking into what could be the dry facts of curriculum.

When I arrived for my first day at the high school I realized how very diverse we are as a student body. Even at a glance it is obvious that we come from all walks of life, all ages, and all colors. We each have different beliefs and religious affiliations, but we all have one thing in common. We are not failures. In spite of our disappointment at times or just the need to make a change we trudged on in order to get our high school diplomas. We relied on our friends and family and on each other to get through the tough times at Winema. When life was just not going well, and getting to school seemed like a monumental task, we persisted by continuing to attend and plowing the road that led to our diploma.

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Throughout our lives, even high school, we have known the bitter taste of failure. At times we wanted to quit and felt that we may not be capable of achieving anything, especially not a high school diploma. But, we can now stand and say proudly that we have persevered. We now know that failing is apart of nature, it is what you do after you fail that determines your character. By graduating from Winema high school we have shown our ability to endure even when obstacles loom in our path.

During our years in school, and life, we have faced situations where we have had to choose between pushing through and giving up. By choosing to push through the hard times in each case, we eventually persevered. We may have been taught how to utilize geometrical equations and scrutinize Huckle Berry Finn, but Winema has also allowed us to mature as people: academically, spiritually, and morally. Today we will all move on to different places in our lives. Some of will go directly into the armed forces, or the job market. 30 percent of us will stay with Chemeketa and enroll as freshman in fall. No matter what the future holds for us, our power to carry on through the hard times will have a tremendous and positive impact on our lives. It has been a privilege to get to know all of you. Good luck.
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