I am devastated that I have not had the chance to talk to my daughter face to face due to circumstances beyond my control. However I am proud of her and this speech. Even though we are strangers, I have hope for connection. This year she graduated Valedictorian of her high school class and I want the world to know that I am saying CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!


Here is her inspiring speech:



It is an honor to be here today. I know these past few years have filled me with a bundle of
mixed feelings: joy, happiness, sadness, pride, disillusionment, anger, anxiety, bravery,
frustration, and hope. I find joy in it being the end of the year. I feel happy for all those who
graduate from high school for the class of 2021, who will grow up to change the world. I feel
sadness for the students who aren’t here this year, the ones who I knew, but tragically died. I
feel pride in remembering how far we have all come, together, this past year. I felt
disillusionment when I felt at my worst. I felt as if there was no way to escape what seemed to
be a world collapsing all around me. From climate change to systematic oppression, from evil
corporate practices to a global pandemic, as I learned in class I found that there is a history to it
all. I look and see disease and mental illness, cancer and bloodshed, I wonder when it will be
healed. We need to acknowledge the negative so we know what we should change. I am angry
about all the hate and destruction that occurred while I was in high school. I am anxious
because of the unknowns in the future, I try to be optimistic however. Being brave has come to
me in a variety of ways. I am brave when I go on adventures camping, when I swim in the
ocean, when I speak about racism and environmental wrongs. There is always more to do to
improve society and bravery is what gets that ball rolling, for we all make mistakes, we just need
to be brave to keep going, even when it seems impossible. I feel frustration from my own lack of
change, but I know I can only move forward in positivity. And with despair inducing events there
are also amazing ones, like in my garden where plants have volunteered to grow from last
year’s harvest. I have hope in knowing the future will be great, if we lean on each other and
move forward in love. I see my friend’s cute puppies and those sweet moments with my little
brothers when we have a pillow fight. I see an amazing superhero on the television defeat the
odds to win, even after it seems all hope is lost. I read my Guidepost magazine and see people
recovering from addiction turn around and lift other people up from theirs. I see Greta Thunberg,
an amazing activist for Climate change, become the 2019 person of the year. When I look at the
strengths of all these people, it turns my viewpoint around. Perhaps the evil is only looming so
large because it is trying to be on the same level of the good. Yes the world has many many
weaknesses, but we can change those into strengths. Perhaps the only way to make the world
better is to analyse and reshape the things that are bad. We will be our own heroes.
“The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change”-Maya Angelou