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Graduation Speech: Anika Kalawadia

Good afternoon faculty, family, friends, and graduating Class of 2024. We are here today not only to celebrate this huge milestone in each of these students' lives, but also the 50th Anniversary of North Brunswick Township High School. As we stand at this crossroad, with both our pasts and our futures in sight, we must all take a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished, and think about how we want to shape this next chapter in our lives. 

The past fifty years of school history can be thought of, in many ways, as a tapestry, with each individual student having their own thread of excellence to weave into the image of the school legacy. While each one is incredibly different, there is one golden thread that runs through the tapestry of NBTHS, holding it together, and bringing with it great value. This golden thread is the sense of community at NBTHS. 

Our community is like no other —we’re always looking for a reason to celebrate each students’ talents; Mr. NBTHS, BCA Night, and Christmas in the Commons, to name a few. We’ve brought our school together over everything from athletics and performing arts to culture and academic success. This wouldn't be possible without the culmination of late nights spent decorating for homecoming, early morning practices for Innovasian, sometimes working with a budget of zero, and sometimes maximizing our school's resources to the fullest. In short, it wouldn't be possible without the dedication and genuine passion of everyone at NBTHS.

Our celebrations go beyond bringing people together—we infuse purpose with joy. We, as students acknowledge our differences and celebrate them in a way that brings us together, making each of us stronger and broadening our horizons, making our families proud in the process. Look around you today; this golden thread is shining bright.

Half a century of NHS members, elite athletes, Alchemist actors, Robotics champions, student government leaders, and even Bleacher Creatures, left big shoes to fill for the Class of 2024. As we get ready to make our final stitches in this tapestry, I do not believe our legacy will only be left by the greatness of our accomplishments, but by the effort we made to uphold the community that holds NBTHS’s tapestry together. We must continue to weave kindness, warmth, strength, and unity into it. I believe that our legacy will be left in the way that we guided confused freshmen through the halls on the first day of school, giving them confidence that would take them through the next four years. It will be left in the way that we smiled at someone we walked past in an empty hallway, not knowing who they were but sharing with them our kindness anyway. We will be remembered by the strangers we held the doors open for and the substitute teachers we helped complete attendance. That, to me, is the biggest way we could have contributed to our school's history. 

As I walked through the Commons in my final weeks of school, seeing students subconsciously perform acts of kindness and kids across different grades and groups converse joyfully, I felt the buzz of community and smiled knowing this golden thread was being passed down to the next generation of NBTHS students.  

To my classmates, although this chapter may now be coming to an end, I cannot wait to see where the next one takes each and every one of us. On each of your caps hangs a tassel of golden threads. Take this tassel with you as a symbol of the lessons that the golden thread has taught with us, and continue to instill its values wherever our paths may take us. Thank you so much, and congratulations, Class of 2024, we did it. 


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