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Graduation Speech: Tristan Lopez

Good day, everyone, teachers, family members, and friends; it is amazing to see such wonderful faces. I applaud all of you for coming here and congratulating our 2024 seniors on their graduation. Through thick and thin, we have overcome many challenges over our high school experience. From tests, to finding ourselves, we have finally made it through the four long years to graduate from not just high school, but our overall educational experience in North Brunswick.

Over many blissful years, our school has become the most diverse high school in the state. Everyone has their community here. We have so much representation present in our school, and the stats show. Throughout ten years, we have maintained our diversity. It is truly an honor to be part of such a diverse community. This diversity helps students develop a better understanding and appreciation for different people, opening our minds to new ideas and perspectives, allowing us to find ourselves through the many communities our school has, and introduce students to leaders like ourselves, furthering our own confidence in ourselves. 

To begin, the diversity in our school community doesn’t come from the racial, gender, and queer differences in our community; but from our diversity of activities and groups such as clubs that our school possesses. Each club helps us form a better understanding of who we are and what we like. Finding activities that we enjoy helps us find what we want to do later in life, and finding communities of people like us helps us find peace within ourselves and develop a better understanding of who we are. We find communities of similar, like-minded individuals that aid us in forming our identities. 

Next, when it comes to our diversity, it allows not just students, but teachers to develop a better understanding of people different from themselves. Teachers become open-minded to many different students. Teachers and administrators have formed safe spaces for their students through our diversity. Students can freely express themselves for who they are thanks to the teachers who love and support them.

Lastly, I’ve only discussed how diversity affects us as students and teachers in the education system. Still, our uniqueness allows us to apply our knowledge of other people and cultures to the real world. Diversity introduces students to many different types of people, ideas, and beliefs. Diversity aids students in improving their cultural engagement and intellectual engagement. It also helps students use skills like critical thinking and problem-solving for people of all backgrounds when engaging in an educational or formal work environment. Diversity helps build communities that judge others on their character, not by the stereotypes and prejudice associated with their identity. Being engaged with a diversity of other people makes us better thinkers, citizens, people, and workers.

To conclude, diversity helps us as teachers, as students, and as leaders. We find ourselves in each other, we open our minds to new things, and we have people willing to support us for who we are. As Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The path to diversity begins with supporting, mentoring, and sponsoring diverse women and men to become leaders and entrepreneurs.”


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