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Nakusp: Valedictorian speech for 2024

Addyson Robins' valedictorian speech
The valedictorian speech for Nakusp class of 2024. (Stock Image)

Good afternoon, friends, proud family members, guardians, guests, staff, and most importantly the graduating class of 2024. I would like to thank you all for being here today with us for this celebration. I am Addyson Robins, and it is my privilege to give this speech and stand before you as the 2024 class Valedictorian.


Five years ago, we all started the same journey of high school, not knowing the challenges we would face or the accomplishments that made us feel like we could rule the world. But through our challenges, we were able to navigate because we are all fuelled by a dream, a passion, and a hope for our futures.


 We walked through the green doors of NSS as children, running around the hallways screaming and yelling until we got told to stop and to use our inside voices because we are in the classroom and we can use our outside voices after school, and as they would like to say “on your own time”; but as we matured, it calmed down a little bit, but to be honest I think that they just let us be because they told us so many times, and we still didn’t listen. But now that this journey and wild ride is over, we leave as adults on the brinks of our futures. We all have a good head on our shoulders, with knowledge, memories, and drive that will last us a lifetime, and we can always look back and reflect on high school because what we have gained will never leave us.


As we make our exit, I want to give a huge shout out to our teachers, staff, and administrators. You have all inspired us in many different ways. Thank you for always believing in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves and seeing the potential that we had within us. Your wisdom and a lot of patience (I mean a lot of patience) have guided us through our first chapter of life and are going to lead us onto our next. And no matter how many times I say thank you, it will never be enough for what we as a class put you through. Like the science lab gone wrong in Grade 9 with the milk jug (you all know what I’m talking about), laughing and talking through entire English classes, Ms. Stille teaching us how to use a semicolon the proper way, making our own rules in PE without the teacher knowing, fooling around in the shops and learning how to use all the tools safely, burning our first batch of cookies in Foods that we were so proud of and still eating them because we convinced ourselves that they were so good (but really they were pretty terrible)...with all our time in high school and many unforgettable memories, it has been so enjoyable, and you as teachers have definitely made an impact on our worlds. So thank you!


Now to our parents, guardians, and families. You are probably wondering where all of the years have gone. Watching us take our first steps, to our first day of kindergarten, then Grade Seven graduation, to now opening your wallets for us to start our journey and find our path that will lead us all in many different directions. You as mentors have pushed us this far and set an example for us to grow and learn from. Thank you for your support, love, and trust throughout our lives. You have always been there for us cheering us on for what we have battled and fought through our first chapter of our lives. You have been the backbone for us since day one, so today is your achievement as much as ours.


And finally, my fellow graduates, we did it! We completed high school. We can now close this chapter of the book and open the next one and see what it has to offer us, either if it's a trade, a scientist, nurse or doctor, or for some of us maybe all of those before we find the thing that we really love to do. It could take us our whole life to find the thing that will bring us joy and light us up, but just remember to enjoy the ride and take life one step at a time until you find a place where you can plant them together. Our future holds so much for us and every single one of us, and I know whatever you end up doing will make you happy and successful.


Through high school, we have shared many laughs that have left us in tears, failures that we learnt from, successes that made us feel invincible, highs and lows, but just remember that we made it through high school and that there is no looking back now. We have grown together, some of us since Kindergarten and even before that at Strong Start and Mother Goose and at each other’s birthdays before we could walk. In simple words, many of us have been together since day one, but also with many joining and leaving us along the way, making our class closer and stronger.  We have all learned things together since Kindergarten to now in Grade Twelve and graduating ready for the world and to learn things that we have never faced. Yet I know that we are ready; we didn’t learn just in classrooms or from textbooks, but we have learned from each other, shaping us into who we are today. And to the graduating class of 2024, I am leaving you with this quote by Zack Tyree.


“Hate has four letters, but so does Love

Enemies has seven letters, but so does Friends

Lying has five letters, but so does Truth

Failure has seven letters, but so does Success

Cry has three letters, but so does Joy

And Negativity has ten letters, but so does Positivity.”


So class of 2024, remember: you always have a choice, so choose the better side of life. From this day forward, I challenge you to go out and change the world for the better, and never forget that failure is the catalyst of growth.


Thank you, and Congratulations to the Class of 2024!