Change and the ability to face change was the focus of several speeches at Platt Technical School’s graduation Friday night, where 212 students made the move from high school student to graduate.
Salutatorian Brittanie Albera, a Milford resident, told fellow graduates that they have no idea what lies ahead, but that it is their job to face and even endure the future.
“I believe the hardest thing to deal with in life is change,” Brittanie said. “It can be hard to adapt, and sometimes people are so set in their ways they don’t see the opportunities available in front of them.”
She said a co-worker once told her that change is the only guarantee in life, and that there is no sense in being unhappy when you can be happy.
“People always ask me why I’m so happy or comment on how much I smile,” she said. “I’ve learned to see the good in each day no matter how it’s going, because you can never get time back. A day spent unwisely is one I will regret.”
Brittanie, 17, graduated from Platt’s manufacturing shop and plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of New Haven. She earned scholarships from Schick, as well as the University of New Haven.
The class valedictorian, Vincent Ybanez, a West Haven resident, continued the topic of change when he stood up to the microphone Friday.
“While change may be scary, and sometimes even difficult, it’s an essential part of life,” Vincent said. “It gives you a fresh new beginning, full of various experiences that you might have never thought would happen.”
He told the Class of 2012 that they may at times fail or lose sight of their dreams, but he said that isn’t a reason to give up.
“The real challenge is whether you’ll get back up on your feet and tackle your problems head on, or just let the failure drag you down,” Vincent said. “Only you’re the one who’s in control of that decision.”
Vincent is 18 and studied electro-mechanical at Platt. He earned a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut, where he will be studying mechanical engineering this fall.
The class of 2012 was an exemplary class, Principal Patricia DeCoster said as she addressed the class Friday evening in the school auditorium. She talked about the changes and challenges the class had to deal with, including budget cuts that threatened the sports program. She pointed out that the class achieved the highest Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) scores in the history of the school and won awards in trade competitions.
“Your skills will help change the world for the better,” DeCoster said.