Valedictorian 2009: Melissa Bosworth

by Melissa Bosworth ’09

Good morning, Mr. Snowden, members of the board, faculty, family and fellow students. Today, we graduate and I have been given the daunting task of trying to portray the thoughts and opinions of the 160 amazing young SMUdents behind me. With such a task, research was a must and in doing it I was hit with a very lengthy list of ideas for this occasion. Unfortunately, most of them were in the “what not to do when giving a speech.” So instead of bombarding you with an extensive list of cliché catch phrases of referring to these years as “the best of our lives” or with sentimental quotes, about how high school is “not the end, but only the beginning” today, all I can do is attempt to sum up these past years we’ve all spent together and the outstanding impact we’ve made.

We as a class have spent countless hours studying, lying on the field in the sun, pushing each other, and helping each other back up. We grew taller, girls’ skirts grew shorter and boys’ facial hair grew longer. We picked our classes and picked who we loved. We turned 18 and got our N’s. We thought we were cool. We drove to school….we got booted. We got jobs and sometimes we got fired. We’ve been slurpie gods, joke kings, debate champions, national gold winners and reigning champions of the Boot game. We have laughed, we have cried, we have felt pain and we have healed, and we did it all together.

We are the year that has not only brought change, but fought for it. A diverse and unique group, we banded together to fight for what we believe in. We have fought for uniform change, equality and human rights, and we have fought until they listen. Together, we have made our campus greener, our grad fund larger and each other happier. We have built schools in far-off nations and raked leaves just down the street. We’ve raised money and raised our voices and we have made a difference. From “Free the Children” to “Free Hugs,” Grad Class of 2009, there is so much for all of us to be proud of.

Each and every one of us has changed over these last years and the people we are today is a result of the hard work and effort of the those around us, of our parents, siblings, house parents and friends. To the teachers, thank you for putting up with our late assignments, missed classes and poorly written essays, even with our heads on the tables and our eyes shut, I swear we were paying attention… most of the time. Parents and house parents, thank you for driving us around, cheering us up and cheering us on. We have changed, and it is because of all of you.

SMUS has given us the opportunity to discover not only ourselves, but also the world. Through “Walking for Water” and “Giving More” we have begun to determine who we are, who we want to be, and what we need to do, together.

Today we graduate. Today we take those first steps into the real world. Today we sit, in caps and gowns, for one last time together. After this morning, there will be no more uniform, no more Brown Hall, no more lunch dates with Ms. Abrioux, no more P. E. battles with Mr. Anderson, no more early morning choir with Ms. Humer, in-fact, no more early morning choir for Ms. Humer, and no more 8:05-3:20 routine. After today, high school is officially over and come September, we will all go off and conquer the new battles and challenges that face us, but each of us will take with us a moment from this school; an unforgettable win, an embarrassing morning assembly, an epic grad fashion show or an entertaining acoustic concert that will remain a part of us always. We have all worked so hard to get to this day. Look around you at the faces of those who have helped you here and remember those times you shared together, those moments that have brought you here.

Today we graduate. Today we face our new world; one that lives beyond the gates of 3400 Richmond Road, one that may seem scary and unfamiliar, but one that I know we are all ready for. We will grow and we will change more than we can imagine and it is already evident to say that this class has the ability and the drive to change the world. So watch out.

Today we graduate. Today we face our new world but no matter what happens to us, whoever we become or whatever we may see, this moment now, will be a part of us, will stay a part of us, whether we walk out of here and rip off our uniform or walk out of here crying, holding our best friends hands. This moment is something we will always share.

Now we graduate; now we face our new world. Congratulations grads of 2009. Now is our moment.

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