Student Graduation Speech 2011

Good morning graduates, current students, all parents and other relatives, and faculty and staff.  

Welcome to the 2011 Chamberlain graduation. I am proud to say that WE did it seniors, we were able to overcome some tough times and were able to enjoy some really great ones as well. This is a very special moment for me. My name is Joe. I came to Chamberlain in 2008. I was 16. I had just finished middle school and 9th grade at a boarding school in Yonkers, New York. I did well, but still had things to work on. I visited many schools, but chose Chamberlain and I am proud of that decision. I know that the progress I have made and continue to still make is a combination of the amazing support I had from staff and teachers and also from the peers around me. I didn’t think that I would miss Chamberlain when I left, but I did and still do. The connections I made with everyone are not easily forgotten or lost and I will never forget all the memories.

I would like to share with you my experience with the  teachers at the school. Now, I am not a great student. I have trouble with work, and handing it in on time. The teachers all knew how capable I was, even if I didn’t always know. They didn’t just let me fail, but really took time to help me get started and stay on task. Again and again this showed me the type of people they are and how much they care about helping. I know that in some schools, teachers only assign work and that’s it; they offer very little help. Not the Chamberlain teachers. They go way beyond the call of duty in their dedication to the students here.

If you were to ask me when I was younger if I could see myself talking at my graduation, I’d say no. I even thought I would drop out of school, but the talks I had with all the staff helped me to continue. I’m glad I didn’t. All those here today have something to offer and that is why we as seniors are here graduating, because not only did the staff help us, but we helped each other at some point which made all the difference.

I wrote something for all the students: the future is today.

It starts with us. We are tomorrow today. Let’s not add to the problems of the world, but let’s help fix them  We all have something to offer and we have proven ourselves. Today is evidence that we can achieve in life, but let’s not just be satisfied with this. Let’s keep going and never stop. And to those who haven’t graduated yet, keep moving forward and don’t let anyone say you can’t because it will be your time soon to get your diploma. I’m proud to have met every single one at Chamberlain. I may have said it a lot, but I am not saying what I think is good to say, but what I feel and believe in my heart. To those I may not have seen eye to eye with, I say let’s end it. Life is too short to hold on to anger.

This school has done many great things for me even if I didn’t think so at the time, because at the end of the day it was your help and my acceptance of that help which has made it possible for me to be here today receiving my high school diploma.

I want to thank my whole family for not giving up on me. I know I wasn’t easy and still may not be, but to know that all of you love me and support me means so much, maybe words can’t describe it. My sister wasn’t able to come, but I know she wanted to and so I wanted her to know I love her and am very proud of her. Also, I just reconnected with one of my biological sisters and to know she thought of me and had the courage to find me means a lot as well. Now I don’t feel distant from my past. A big thanks to all the staff teachers, administrators and supervisors, I can’t even begin naming every one because I’d be here for a while so thank you all for everything and to all my friends here for always being there for me when I was down, but also when I was happy. It really is great to know I had friends through it all. Also, I want to thank those who I may not have agreed with because even though we had our times what was said from both sides showed me that I still have work to do and that it wasn’t right to speak to any of you the way I did so I apologize here today to all those to whom I was mean  and said out of line things.

I will forever be grateful to have had a chance to be a part of this school. Now let’s finish this the same way we started together. Thank you.

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