Graduation Speech

Thank you everyone for coming out tonight and congratulations to my fellow classmates. It is truly an honor to address you all.

I want to start off this speech with a quote from Shakespeare’s Henry V as an ode to Mr. Kleinman’s dream filled second quarter. “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”

Excuse the cliche, but here at ACP we are a family, a band of brothers and of sisters if I may. Some of us have been going to school together for a third of our lives. Five days a week, 30 some odd weeks out of the year, for the last six years!

Arizona College Prep- the name sounds intimidating doesn’t it. A school where students are required to study subjects at the AP level. It was no walk in the park. While our teacher’s were amazingly empathetic, they demanded from us our very best day in and day out. It was a battle some days, a challenge all my fellow classmates and I triumphed over together. A journey that has positively shaped our character and our minds. A road stretched out before us leading to this very day, to our climb up onto this stage before you, and to our walk out those doors into adulthood. And we laughed and smiled and worked and complained through it all together and so, over the years, through this common experience, the sharing of this school and all its walls and occupants, through our shared exertion and blood, we became a band of brothers, a family molded by circumstance and yet a family nonetheless. A family bound by memories and friendships but also by competition and discord. I know every single one of my fellow classmates by name and enjoy talking to them all and without a doubt, that fact has memorialized my senior year and my high school career more then any other.

Earlier in the year, the senior class came together to have a barbecue at Tumbleweed park, one of our many senior events outside of the school. We brought frisbees and food and a bit too much charcoal. I drew the short straw and was the first to test out Mehrdad’s impeccable grilling, and let me say, after a rough start, he earned the right to wear his apron. I looked at that night through my camera lens and what I captured reveals the essence of the class of 2016: a group of young adults embracing maturity without sacrificing their light hearted nature. Like any family, our class has its feuds and its disagreements and yet that night I cannot recall a single memory that would not bring a smile to my face. I believe that we, as a class, transcend beyond cliques or arguments and by forgiving each other of our faults shared in the ecstasy of growing up. From school dances to sporting competitions, assemblies to events, and clubs to awards, we have all supported each other as a class and throughout it all forged a powerful bond. My memories at ACP would not be complete without every single one of my fellow classmates.

I would like to take a moment to thank our principle Mr. Bickes. His dedication and energy to improving this school has made it what it is today and I cannot imagine our class without him. His door was always open to us and he would always listen and help, so thank you Mr. Bickes and just a heads up we told the lower class men about that coffee bar you promised us four years ago. Thank you to the office staff, without you ACP would grind to a halt, all the work you do behind the scenes is greatly appreciated. Thank you to Mrs. Lake who always made time to talk with us seniors and made sure we all graduated and to Mrs. Speciale for keeping us honest about college deadlines. And thank you to all the teachers, who not only taught us but provided us with stories, a source of advice, and a fun  and comfortable environment I looked forward to everyday. Thank you everyone who helps make ACP possible, including our families and fellow classmates, and helped contribute to the individuals we are today.

Our class quote this year was be bold. It is the mantra we tried to live by throughout this year, from applying to our dream colleges to living out novel experiences and laying the foundations of future lives. So let us continue to be bold. Be bold as we march on into our futures. Be bold and run towards adulthood, not trudge! Be bold and become part of a band of brothers and sisters to all of humanity in this existence we all face together. Do not ever cease in being bold, for know that as we close this chapter in our lives, a new one opens with endless opportunities if only we reach out and grasp them.

And I will end this speech how I began it with a quote from Shakespeare: this time from Julius Ceaser. “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.” I know everyone of my classmates can accomplish anything they set their mind to and I say to them don’t let any star, any premonition of a predestined failure, hold you back. As we have heard every single day for the last four or more years and what I will truly miss hearing, strive for the impossible and be extraordinary.

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2 comments

  1. So unbelievably awsome! Congrats Randall!! So proud of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A brilliant speech, Randall, you are wise beyond your years. I expect great things from you. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

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