Valedictory speech: Emily Ellis

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Emily Ellis

Good Evening,

Thank you all for coming out to support the class of 2013. After 13 years of hard work, drama, and fun, we’ve finally made it. We’ve dreamed about this day for years, and we never thought it would get here. Now that it has, we wish it would have taken a little longer.

I want to take a minute to thank everyone for helping me get where I am today. Thank you to my teachers for inspiring me to be the best that I can be and for encouraging me to think outside the box. Thank you to my friends for being there for me, for dragging me away from my books, and for being there when I needed someone to listen to my complaints. Thank you to my parents for setting the standards high and encouraging me to reach them, and for letting me make mistakes. And thank you to God for putting all these people in my life, to help me, to teach me, and to guide me along the way.

In kindergarten, we dreamed of becoming Power Rangers, Princesses, pilots, and politicians. As we have gotten older, our dreams have matured with us and have gotten more realistic. We now dream of being nurses, lawyers, teachers, doctors, and everything in between, but everyone here has a dream. We all have something we want to accomplish, big or small. Over the years our dreams may still change, but I want to encourage each and every one of you to follow them. We’ve got the whole world at the tip of our fingers, now all we have to do is reach out and grab it.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

In the years ahead, we will all face challenges, choices, and obstacles that will get in the way of our dreams. It will be tough as we go off to college, away from the life we’ve known, the friends we’ve known, the normal that we’ve known for so long, but we can do it, and we will do it. We will have to decide to go to class. We will have to decide to do our homework. We will have to decide to study. But we all know the right decision, and we’ll figure it out. We’ve all grown up together, but now it’s time to part ways, to go off and do the great things we were meant to do. People will tell you that you can’t do it, but if you want it bad enough you can. I encourage everyone to keep your eye on the prize, always remember where you want to be in life, and do what you have to do to get there.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” But, at the same time, do the crazy things. Travel the world, get lost, take the scenic route. Don’t rush through your life; live it, enjoy it. Right now is the time to make mistakes, change your major, change your dream, because we will never have as fresh of a start as we do right now. Your slate is clean, the possibilities are endless, now go out and make something happen.

May your dreams fly higher than your caps! Congratulations, class of 2013, we did it!

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