With the pandemic putting paid to large gatherings, including Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies, the Richmond News reached out to the school district’s Valedictorians for them to share their speeches with their families, friends and our readers.
This week, the News will be publishing their abbreviated versions online and in print as they come into our newsroom.
By Justin Salinas
Valedictorian at MacNeill secondary
Fellow Ravens, family, and friends:
Would you believe me if I told you that we are living the greatest story ever told?
It’s the story of you and your life - one that cannot be edited, proofread, or copied, where we, as our own protagonists, grow and encounter new adventures each new day.
The moral of this ‘chapter’, the most important one especially during this time of uncertainty and frustration, is to consider every special little moment a blessing - the nights you stay up too late with friends, the books that inspire you to start listening in class, or the times you do good for your community.
School’s goal was never to memorize, but to prepare us to determine our legacy. Being open to the unexpected as you figure out who you are will lead you to your true interests, friends, and your calling. Everything else will fall into place.
After today, not only are you the protagonist of your own story, you’re the author.
You can decide your own path, a journey only you can write. It won’t be an easy one, but surprise your readers - everybody loves an underdog story.
Family and teachers: you are the ghostwriters of this story. Thank you for being a part of our lives writing this mess of a story with us.
Even though you’re more than happy just cheering us on, it's time to take some credit, because you just wrote a success story.
Be proud of that. Graduation is more than a finish line, but a celebration of how far we’ve come.
And so, the greatest story ever told doesn’t end here.
So savour every little moment, write adventure into your story, and thank the ghostwriters in your life, and maybe our stories become timeless and be told for years to come.