On June 6th, 2016
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a great honor and privilege for me to have been chosen to be this year`s valedictorian for the class of 2016. As a result of that I would like to express my gratitude to God Almighty for making this day possible, and to all my teachers, friends and above all my family members who have helped me through my academic journey that has enabled me to stand in front of you all this evening. Moreover, I would like to thank the administration for providing me with this opportunity. This is an opportunity that I have not taken lightly and therefore, it is highly appreciated.
I am an immigrant student who emigrated from Sierra Leone to the United States. Sierra Leone is a small country in the West Coast of Africa with a population of approximately 7 million people. I am standing here today as a representative of my fellow students and classmates, my family and as an ambassador of that small country and also the United State of America. I have been attending Cornerstone for the past four years. Those fours have had a tremendous impact in my life.
At Cornerstone, we have been taught the three ‘R`s’. The first ‘R’ stands for religion, the second ‘R’ for respect and the third ‘R’ for responsibility. As a Christian school we have been taught to be religious in the sight of God, be respectful to one another our elders and authority and finally to take responsibility for our actions. All these put together have brought me and my fellow students close to Christ, the Author and Finisher of our Faith. As a result of the Christians values that I have learned from Cornerstone, I made a schedule to pray every day before leaving my house. Cornerstone has also taught us how to behave in public as well as in our private lives. Therefore, I thank the entire academic staff for a job well done.
In today`s society, much is expected from the teachers. The teachers at Cornerstone have therefore lived up to that expectation. Our teachers are wonderful and we thank you all for the good values you have imparted into our lives. These are values that are going to stay with us for our entire adult life, and on behalf of class of 2016, we promise to make you proud as we continue our academic journey in other institutions.
To our parents, what a wonderful day to be proud of us your children. As student, we are representing our families wherever we go and that representation comes with a great price. As parents you work hard to put us through school and all you demand from us are good grades and good manners. You made no mistake in sending us to Cornerstone. Therefore, on behalf of class of 2016, I want to thank all parents for standing with us through this difficult journey. We are leaving Cornerstone, and we are about to start another difficult journey that will require your full support. As you have done during our Cornerstone days, please continue to stand with us. There were moments when we were not all that great and those moments will come again even as we transition to other schools. Therefore, as our parents, don’t give up on us no matter what. We shall continue to make you proud. Thank you for all you support.
To my fellow classmates, 2016 indeed, here we are today, leaving Cornerstone. We all started this journey together and have finished it together. Today is a day of Celebration, a time for looking back on lessons we have learned, adventures shared, bright moments filled with special meaning we`ve got at Cornerstone. Today is also a day of Farewell, a time for saying goodbye to old friends and teachers, to good times we`ve have known and shared at Cornerstone, a time for packing away memories and treasures for tomorrow. And finally, today is a Beginning, a time to look forward, a time to set new goals, to dream new dreams, to try new wings and to see what lies beyond 8th grade.
Therefore, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make it or you can’t achieve your dreams. The sky should be our limit and we must continue to work hard using the capabilities and skills that we have acquired and learned at Cornerstone, to be whatever we can be. United State of America is a great country with a lot of opportunities, so let us make use of the opportunities we have, for the time is now.
I leave you today with Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Always have God on your side and remember where you come from – Cornerstone of course, and remember where you are going, High school and beyond. Be ambassadors for God, for Cornerstone, your families and above all the United States of America.
Congratulations class of 2016 and I wish you all the best and I know we are capable of doing great things in life. Thank you.