Law grads told 'do not go gentle into that good night'

Quoting Dylan Thomas, Jonathan Law Class of 2017 Valedictorian Trisha Brady advised her fellow graduates, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Jonathan Law High School’s Class of 2017 graduated Tuesday night, inside the school gym since storms were expected. The heat turned many of the graduation programs into fans for the family and friends who filled the bleachers, but it did not diminish the quality of the speeches that class speakers offered.

Trisha asked her classmates to consider the meaning of success as they prepare to set out in the world.

“In my mind, success is quite simple,” she said. “For the good book tells us, without a vision the people will perish. In other words, success is the constant movement towards achieving our goals in life. From this moment forward we should consider ourselves on a journey to a destination that we will never reach; because those that reach a final destination have stopped learning, growing and expanding their horizons. In short, those that stop dreaming, well, they simply stop living.”

“We cannot pass along quietly into the night, we must keep moving forward,” Trisha said. “We must become stronger, wiser, kinder and more educated. We must not allow setbacks or broken dreams to take us down; we must avoid going through life passively, we must constantly alter and adjust our goals and visions.”

Trisha, who also attended the Aquaculture School in Bridgeport during her years at Jonathan Law, has received many academic awards, including honors in organic chemistry analysis. She received a perfect score in science on the ACT test. Trisha plans to study forensic science and chemistry in the University of New Haven Honors Program in the fall.

Kavitha Mohanarajan, class salutatorian, told her classmates that perseverance is the key to success.

She quoted Napoleon Hill, an American author, who said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

“In life, adversity is inescapable, but it is in how we choose to face it that determines our future,” Kavitha said.

She told her classmates that they have all persevered already, pushing themselves to study and work hard to reach high school graduation day. She encouraged them to continue doing so.

She quoted novelist Terry Goodkind, saying, “If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”

Kavitha earned a number of awards during her college years, including honors for biology and Latin. She also interned with a political party, and she earned her EMT license while a high school student. Kavitha plans to study physiology and neurobiology in the University of Connecticut Honors Program in the fall.

School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser advised the graduates to always look back on their past and to incorporate past lessons into their lives. Even at this stage of their lives, people and events have shaped them.

“Pause, look back on your past and recall the people who have touched your life during the past 18 years,” Dr. Feser said.

Class President Nisali Fernando asked her fellow graduates to always use their voices for good.

“I ask that you stand and speak up for what you believe in and do whatever you can to advocate for those that do not have a voice,” Nisali said. “A young woman, only 19 years old, stared down the barrel of hatred and ignorance and used her voice to spark change. That young woman, Malala Yousafzai, said, ‘When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.’”

She told the class that each of them will have the opportunity to be that voice, “the voice that conquers any obstacle, the voice that spreads love and compassion.”

She said the class has proven they can overcome challenges.

“I challenge you to take this tenacious will with you wherever you go,” Nisali said to her classmates.