Isabella Minter delivered today’s graduation speech as the valedictorian of Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy. Isabella plans to attend the United State Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point in New York and double major in Philosophy and Legal Studies. Her career goal is to become a Judge Advocate General Attorney for the United States Army or Legal Analyst for a major news network.
Graduation Address, Isabella Minter
Good Afternoon, I am Isabella Minter, the valedictorian of the Daniel Mclaughlin Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy and it is with the utmost gratitude that I stand before you today. Let me say, when I began thinking about the context of my speech, I thought long and hard. What could I say that would truly connect my experiences with my peers, and what resonated most upon giving this much thought is our PURPOSE (our intended or desired result, our aim, our goal )in respect to the journey that lies before us. Purpose involves wealth, happiness, scholarship, and hard work.
What is wealth? Does it define us? Do our experiences in life equate to a checkbook that guarantees a lifetime of happiness and success? As you ponder this thought, let me share a story about a young girl… say around the age of 9 who believes she is the RICHEST third grader on earth! You see, I was that third grader whose love of MONEY and CANDY made earning A’s more of a priority than not.
Had it not been for my father promising me $20 for every A earned on my report card, perhaps the notion of being RICH would have been just a figment of my imagination. However, on the contrary, little did I know that being RICH is not solely relegated to just money, for I have learned that a person can be rich in character, spiritually, and through the unconditional love of family and friends which gives credence to the quote, “We may lack riches, but the greatest fortune is what lies in our hearts.”
As scholars, our HEARTS and minds have shaped our PURPOSE as we forged ahead despite the demands of Mrs. Green’s Economics class, Dr. Ranganathan’s Math 4 class, Ms. Wells’ Senior English class, Mrs. Talluri’s Forensic Science class and Mrs. Reed’s endless demand that we garner at least “1” college acceptance letter and to complete our community service hours.
The many long hours spent preparing for classes, remaining for tutorials, and filling out college applications serves as a platform for which our purpose as contributing citizens will evolve. What is your purpose in life? There are three keys that will help you answer this question. The start of unlocking your purpose is to do what you enjoy! The second key is to not allow fear to consume you! The final key in order to unlock your purpose is do not try to find your purpose on your own.
As you think about after high school, be it college, be it the workforce, be it the United States military; remember your hard work does not stop today.
I challenge you, ALL of you, to continue to give your all, despite the pressures and obstacles you will face as you enter the “Real World.” As the Class of 2014, we are this nation’s future and as we grasp our true purpose, we will live our lives in a way where we will leave a legacy.
We, the class of 2014, have proven that through pride, passion, and purpose, we have and will accomplish all things!
Classmates of 2014, as I depart to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, it has been a pleasure spending these last four years with you!