Valedictorian urges grads to create a fulfilling life

Jerome Javier

Jerome Javier,
Valedictorian

Honored guests, family, friends, teachers, and fellow graduates, good afternoon.

We are glad that you have come to share this momentous event in our lives. \We have anticipated this event for 12 years.

We’ve hoped for it and planned for it.

But now, this graduation is a reality with mixed emotions.

After years of being protected from the world, we are now entering the world with nothing to shelter us except the things that we have learned throughout high school.

For those years, our parents, teachers, and of course our friends have strived to instill within us these qualities that we will need in the world we are now entering.

Many of us sitting here today have fulfilling roles.

Firstly, our friends have served as a daily example to us.

All of us here today will enter the real world for the first time.

We are saying goodbye to all our classmates who have grown very near and dear to us through the years, but we are also saying hello to new friends.

To my fellow graduates during the last few years of high school, we have changed.

We’ve become smarter, more sociable, and more aware of what the future holds for us (I hope).

Immigrating here from the Philippines in 2016 was a huge challenge for me.

I had my fears and doubts that I wouldn’t be able to adapt to the new environment, starting from the language to the culture.

I would like to thank my friends, Glen, Naomi, and Heidi for making it easier for me.

From doing homework in Language Arts and Chemistry class to taking pictures inside Yvonne’s fridge in the cafeteria.

Thank you for always being there for me and for the fun memories.

To our teachers and school staff, who have contributed greatly to the formation and development of our personalities and character.

You have inspired us to set and attain higher goals.

You have explained mathematics, basic sentence patterns, science concepts, and countless of other things.

You have helped us develop and express our opinions and outlooks about life.

So, as we take this final walk out of this school, we thank you all for helping us to answer the question of who we are.

Finally, many of you as parents have fulfilled the most important role of all. You have cared for us and loved us at times when we were unlovable.

When we came to you discouraged, you gave us the encouragement and determination needed for us to go on.

When we came to you with a sad heart, you cheered us.

You have given us love, security, and happiness that no one else could give.

Parents, it is you who should receive the honor and the congratulations upon our graduation today.

I would like to mention my parents, Pearl and Larry Javier.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the best gift you could ever have given me: a wonderful home.

I am who I am today because of your effort, guidance, love, and support.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you for never giving up on me—even when I made it hard for you sometimes.

You are one in a million and I love you so much.

Today, we as a class stand on the threshold of an open door.

It is today that we can step through this door and take the challenges of our future.

Speaking in behalf of my fellow graduates is a great opportunity to be their voice to express how thankful we are to these people, that became our architect, that plans our future, an engineer that builds our dreams, and a counsellor when we’re confused.

So, now as we end one chapter in our lives, I think it’s important to realize that we’re starting another one.

It’s a beginning, not an end.

After today, we will all go our separate ways.

Some of us will stay in touch, others we may never see again.

Over the coming years, we might forget some science facts or mathematical formulas we learned here, but regardless of where we go, we will all have our memories of the past, and more importantly, our goals for the future.

Let us not live this life for ourselves, but live it for God, and through that, make an impact in this world.

And so, instead of a final farewell to the class of 2019, I’d like to give my first wish.

Don’t put much pressure on yourselves.

Like I said, today is a start of a journey.

In five years time, we’ll have our own careers.

Some of us will then get married, and might buy a house.

In 15 years, we’ll be 30 and our path, our lives will be set for us.

However, we all don’t have to follow this approach.

Some people graduated at 21 and didn’t get a job until they were 30.

Some graduated at 26 and found a job immediately.

Some went to university, but found their passion at 16.

Some make decent money, but hate what they do and changed their mind.

My point is everything in life happens according to our time, our clock.

You might see some friends that are ahead of you and some may fall behind, but everything happens at their own pace.

They have their own clock, and so do you. Be patient.

Don’t let anyone rush your timeline. Like Albert Einstein said: “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted truly counts.”

This is the most important thing.

Create a meaningful and fulfilling life for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact on others.

That will be true success.

Class of 2019, let us all make history together and like what Mr. Lamoureux says every morning, always let your light shine.

Once again, this is Jerome Javier, saying a good afternoon and God bless.

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