Jonathan Law high school students urged to become a person others want to thank
Jonathan Law High School class president Jordan Beck told fellow graduates at commencement Wednesday, June 13, to “embrace the new adult in the mirror and understand that you cannot be distinct until you experience failure.”
Beck said it is “poignant to think that we entered Law as an eclectic band of freshmen and will leave as a brilliant group of minds with a range of amazing qualities.”
He said each student wrote their own guides to coping with the turbulence of high school — the sudden independence — and there’s value in that uniqueness and in the ability of humans to adapt.
Valedictorian Oreoluwatomiwa (Ore) Opayemi, said, “Thank you,” to all who helped the grads get where they are, saying a motto she lives by is, “No one ever gets where they are by themselves.”
She said students should recognize that everyone they’ve encountered in life — good or bad — has helped them get to the day of graduation.
“Whether it’s parents, teachers, the third-grade bully, or the custodians in our schools, each has contributed one way or another to the betterment of our lives, making us who we are now,” Opayemi said.
Opayemi thanked God for all she’s accomplished, and said students should thank their parents for all they’ve done in helping them get this far.
She implored classmates to become the kind of people others want to thank.
“We must try to show kindness and compassion to those we interact with. We must be willing to give more of ourselves so others can benefit; this could occur through volunteering our time at the local food bank, or just sitting with a lonely person at lunch,” she said.
Salutatorian GraceAnne Piselli said after taking advantage of opportunities in high school, she has found what she truly wants out of life.
“Each passion is unique and admirable, and has put each of us on our own paths which we will begin walking once we graduate,” she said. “These paths will vary. Some will contain extensive detours which can alter or lengthen our journey. Other paths will be smooth and effortless, leading some of us to achieve our goals rather quickly. But, no matter the path we travel, we must remember to persevere and trust the process.”
She said she and fellow graduates are part of a generation that is “an agent of change.”
“We have grown up in an age where we face weekly tragedies, tumultuous leaders, and growing social and political polarization,” Piselli said. “After experiencing these issues for so long, our peers have gathered the courage to stand up and make changes to improve our world.”
She urged that as young adults classmates “take advantage of our power; we must harness our passions, and use them to cause major world shifts.
She quoted Mahatma Gandhi said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.”