Board of Ed., administrators, staff, teachers, parents, and guardians, thank you for supporting the Class of 2019 during a long journey. Let's give them a round of applause!
Now, we have little time to spare until we get our diplomas. Administrators and staff, you have worked hard to lead us to this very day, and for that, I am truly grateful. I would also like to say a special thanks to the teachers, for running numerous activities and events in school as well as teaching us the importance of education, whether it is solving an equation, understanding English literature, learning the history of our great country and the world, understanding how things work around us through the eyes of science, or learning a new language. You have taught us the very important topics that we will soon use in our future. You are the very backbone of our education, and without you we wouldn’t be here today. Thank you!
Now, I would like the Class of 2019 to look to the audience for a moment. These are the people who are supporting you today and who will soon want to take pictures with you, hug you, kiss you, and congratulate you. But there are certain people in that audience who are very important in our lives, ladies and gentlemen, and those are your parents. They have walked with you from the moment you were born and worked hard to get you here. Parents and guardians, Mom and Dad, thank you for your support. This day is just as important as your children, and for that, I would also like to say congratulations to you too. Thank you!
Class of 2019, we have changed greatly throughout these past 4 years. We went from loud, obnoxious middle schoolers to loud, obnoxious high schoolers! But seriously, we have transformed to become the future of our society, have the right to vote, and learn to take on life’s challenges. NBTHS has sculpted us into intelligent boys and girls. With intelligence, we have confidence; with confidence, we have determination; with determination, comes success.
I would like to share a couple of things I learned while attending NBTHS. One, the importance of education. I always wondered, why is school so important? For those of you who didn’t know, my parents fled a civil war in Lebanon, where persecution reached my family. My father, who lost his father, sister, and brother, sought refuge in America. As he sees his son today graduating high school and moving on to college, he is probably very emotional right now. He finally gave me the answer to my question. He stated “No one can take away your education”. Then he told me “If only I had an education, I could have had an easier life.” I looked at him. A man who lost everything, nearly half of his family, his home, his country, and had to start anew in a country he didn't even know. Education doesn't have to be all the stuff we learn in school. It could also be knowledge. Knowledge on how to bake, how to fix pipes, how to treat a sick person, how to bring justice, and more. With your knowledge, you are able to do great things.
The diploma you will receive today, no one will take away from you. It is guaranteed success in the future and a life where open doors are endless. Fellow graduates, we are so fortunate to have an education. Many are not given this opportunity, but today, we stand with caps and gown, about to enter a world with tools that will make us succeed.
Speaking of the world, I would like all of you to show an act of kindness as we grow. Now, this may not be something fun at first, but if everyone does an act of kindness, this world will change dramatically. We live in a world filled with greed and hate. It's time to look at our neighbor with a smile and spread joy and mercy by dedicating your time for selfless acts like volunteering. In the future, listen to what others have to say, don’t ignore them. Debate, don’t argue. Show mercy, not revenge. Sacrifice your time, don’t just waste it. I will guarantee that the world will be filled with hope for those who need it in times of darkness.
I would like to conclude this speech by saying, you have earned this day. We will all, one day, fall and tremble from life’s obstacles, at the point where we might give up. However, during your darkest hours, look back at this day and remember your hard work and success, for it will empower you to keep moving forward. We all have something special, a gift to offer, we just need to know how to use it and keep pushing ourselves to make it something wild. Now I pray, God bless America, God bless NBTHS, God bless our teachers, and God bless the Class of 2019. Congratulation we did it!