Wednesday, 14 December 2016 09:44

Valedictorian Speech

Good evening class of 2016, honorable guests, and esteemed staff.My name is Victory Ravan and I am the vice president of the 15th generation. It is a great honor to be standing here speaking to all of you on this special occasion. First, I’d like to express my thanks to my family, all my friends and teachers who helped me get to where I am now.
I remember leaving middle school and transferring here for the first time as a 9th grader. I remember how the word “high school” often made my palms sweaty with anxiety. I’ve always imagined it being tough, and admittedly, I was scared I wouldn’t fit in because I couldn’t really speak proper Khmer then. Though we had a few rough bumps at first, my classmates grew to accept me and welcomed me as part of the class. They were kind and welcoming, smart and creative, athletic and determined. Some even conformed to my obsessive impulses with anime.

How did it all go by so fast? It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that we were younger kids, chasing each other all over the school. When we all sang and danced to lyrics we did not understand in the song Gangnam Style. But now, here we are, all of us, on the threshold of new possibilities and opportunities; To embark on new pathyways to live well and with purpose.

The words of Charles Dickens seems so apt right now, ‘’It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’’ We’ve helped  raise tens of thousands of dollars in many charity events, won many international contests, went on several trips to the provinces, played in many sport competitions, planted trees in front of Aeon, and had too many water and powder fights for a lifetime. As happy as I am to graduate tonight, I’ll never forget the memories we had, the struggles we went through, the fights and disagreements, the apologies and tears, the laughter and happiness we shared. We’re certainly through with the stressful days of examinations and pop quizzes. 

Now, at the end of our time as a high school student, we have an opportunity. Now’s our time to take on the world, to find and pursue our passions, to discover our own pursuit of happiness.
We have been through both hardships and success and had experience in a wide range of things. Because of these conditions, I believe that we can overcome any obstacle.

As graduates, we’ll face many uncertainties in both the immediate and distant future. However, uncertainty is just another word for opportunity. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time”. I know many of us doubt our abilities and talents and worry about our future, but this is just the beginning. Remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. All it takes is just taking a step forward. Small it may be, but strong the outcome.

Over the next few years some of us may end up at a college or trade school. Some may begin working full time or even start a family. No matter where we go or what we do, there are challenges ahead of us. What I’m asking from each and every one of you today, and myself, is to meet those challenges straight on with our head held high and our hearts wide open. Always remember where you came from. And always remember where you are going.
Our time together as seniors and graduates of the 15th generation will be remembered by the relationships and time we spent together. Class of 2016, it’s been a splendid 4 years with you. Congratulations to my fellow graduates! We did it!

I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the teachers and administrators who worked so hard to make us reach this final destination. To my family who has always been there for me through thick and thin, who’ve raised me up to be the person I have become tonight, who have spent hours, days, YEARS of hard work to make sure I had all the things I needed: education, love, and support. I hope I’ve made you proud.

By Victory Ravan

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