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Graduation Speech: Dominique Magno

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty and friends, proud parents, and my fellow students - WE DID IT! 

To be able to deliver this speech for everyone today, we were asked to “reflect on the rich tapestry of our school’s history and your unique role in shaping it.” But, what is a legacy? Is it "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see?" Is it having a project that looks so perfect that your teacher uses it as an example for next year’s class? Is it writing your name on a desk with a permanent marker? Funny enough, I think it’s all of those combined. A legacy can be your faith and how you influence those around you. It can be the impact you make, how you become a leader of example. It can be the memories you leave behind, the stories that are and were told during your life and after you’re gone. In essence, a legacy is the mark you leave on your world — a testament to who you are and what you stand for.

Something special about NBTHS as a whole is that we truly are a “rich tapestry” of diversity and belonging. From our backgrounds to our beliefs, from our talents to our dreams, from our differences to our similarities, we come together to create a vibrant tapestry of experiences and perspectives. It’s this diversity that we celebrate today at not only our graduation, but also the 50th Anniversary of our high school. As I stand before you today, I realize that my journey, though brief, has been intertwined with the journeys of countless others. Whether you knew me as that “one pink haired girl that can’t walk straight in the hallways” or a friend who couldn't stop talking, I have felt so connected and welcomed in this school and its community. We have all left our marks in this school. Be it from our academic achievements, our involvement in extracurricular activities, or simply the laughs that were had in the halls, each one of us has something to be proud of. 

We also have our teachers and staff members to thank. They not only gave us the knowledge they spent years mastering, but they have also nurtured our growth, challenged our minds (as we challenged their patience) and encouraged us to do our best even in the midst of a pandemic during our freshman and sophomore years. I’d like to personally thank  Mrs. Eaton-Mercado who pushed me to be the best AP Lang. student I could be. She has been by my side supporting me in my growth and desire to become an English teacher (I do make frequent comments about taking her job once she retires). Honestly, I don’t think I could ever match her ability to make everyone and their views feel accepted and validated - even if it’s the furthest reach of a theory about a color in a story. Mrs. Mercier, Merc, as we all call her, has this unique ability to make you feel like you’ve known each other for so long, when it’s only been a second. Merc shows up to a classroom with this bright smile and an equally bright laugh that sets up the whole mood for the day.

As we celebrate our own accomplishments, let’s not forget the support and sacrifices of our parents and guardians. I want to thank my mom. She raised me by herself and flew me to a whole different country at the age of 10. She watched me grow into who I am today while still keeping me grounded to my roots in the Philippines. She also watched me dye my hair about 8 times during my high school years. She’s been so patient and understanding with me and I really hope it paid off for her. She’s my best friend. From my dire problems, recent food cravings, and school drama, she’s been my shoulder to lean on and ear to talk to. But for all our parents, from late-night study sessions to early morning drives in the midst of the irritating traffic at the road leading up to the school, from cheering us on at sporting events to lending a listening ear in times of doubt, they have been there every step of the way. Let us take a moment to honor their legacy – us. Honor the values and lessons they have instilled in us. Honor the love and support they have given with tears to shed on the side. Now it’s our turn. 

Class of 2024, as we move forward into the world outside the halls of NBTHS, I want to remind you all that our futures are brighter than a computer screen at 8 a.m. and our legacy is only now beginning. Thank you.


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