Let me begin by welcoming all of you to today’s event and thanking (NAME OF PERSON WHO INTRODUCED YOU) for that kind introduction.
I’m very pleased to have been invited to speak here today on what I know is a very special day. It’s special for the graduates, for their proud parents and grandparents, and for their very relieved teachers. Just wait until these students are graduating college. Then their parents will be the
As I begin, I have to say, I think the best speeches are those that have a great beginning, a memorable end, and not much in between. I will try then to make a great speech. Today is one of those great occasions when we get to celebrate our young people – their achievements, their perseverance and their successes as they grow up. It’s one of the times you can take a break and reflect, feeling good as a parent or a mentor, knowing that the kids you care about are doing just fine and they’re on the right path.
Graduates, you should know that your moms and dads are very proud of you today. They have high hopes for you, and they believe in you, and you are making them proud by showing what you can do. Take a look at them now, and you can see them smiling and snapping photos so they can record this moment forever. Today is an important day for you and for them. Today they are very, very proud of you. (PAUSE) Today would be a good day to ask for money.
Today would also be a good day to hug them and thank them for supporting you, because as much as this is your achievement, this is also the achievement of the people who care about you. That means your mom, your dad, your step mom or step dad, your grandparents, your sisters and brothers, and all the other people who care about you. They want you to be your best and to live up to your potential.
Graduations can be seen as a coming of age, a sort of official way to recognize when a person steps into the next stage of life, and graduates, you are stepping into a new stage.
With every year, you have become a little more independent. I bet you can still remember your first day here - it might have been exciting and a little intimidating too. I bet when you look at the (INSERT LOWEST GRADE IN SCHOOL HERE, 1ST GRADERS, 6TH GRADERS, ETC) going to class you think, Wow! They look so little! I can't believe I was ever that young! Get used to it. You'll be thinking that for the rest of your life.
But when you she younger students, you can tell how much you've grown up, how much you've learned and how much you've matured. Think back on some of the exciting things that happened this year, all the things you learned. This year, you… (ADD SOME INFO ABOUT THE CLASS OR SCHOOL HERE. TALK TO TEACHERS OR WHOEVER INVITED YOU FOR SOME IDEAS. IT CAN BE FIELD TRIPS, TOPICS STUDENTS LEARNED, ETC. YOU CAN ALSO ADD SOME FAMILY-FRIENDLY HUMOR ABOUT WHAT KIDS LEARNED).
You had some great time this year, and maybe you had some tough times, but you did it and you succeeded. You're ready for that next step. I ask you as you prepare for this next step to do a few things.
First, stop texting your friend about how you wish the speaker would hurry up and finish talking so you could go to (INSERT NAME OF LOCAL PARTY PLACE, MALL OR RESTAURANT POPULAR WITH STUDENTS).
Secondly, I ask you to take this chance to dedicate yourself to making the next year even better. Remember that you don’t have to follow the crowd. Do the right thing, even if no one is looking. Study hard and remember that you're investing in yourself with every test you take and every book you read. And finally, don't be in too big of a hurry to grow up. These are some great times in your life. Don't rush past them.
There are great things coming, and just as your parents are proud, each one of you should feel proud of yourself.
So congratulations to all of the graduates, congratulations to the parents, and finally, congrats to the teachers and everyone else who helped our graduates reach here today.
I'll leave you with this final quote, from a great author with whom I imagine you are all familar, by the name of Dr. Seuss.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go."
Congratulations again, and thank you for your attention.
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