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Graduation Speech: "Congratulations everyone - very much appreciated"

bmachado 5 / 23  
May 28, 2010   #1
I have to give a speech at my graduation next week, and I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on my speech. If anyone has any ideas to make it smoother or anything, that would be great! Thanks!

Four years ago, when I walked on this campus, there were three things that I was certain of. I wasn't going to wear any dresses, I wasn't going to go to any dances, and I was definitely not going to speak at graduation. Well, six dresses, three dances, one spot on prom court, and four years later, here I am giving a speech at graduation.

Maybe it is because this was my senior year and the thought of going to college and moving away made me get sentimental, but over this past year, I have really grown to appreciate this town. Now, I know what you all are thinking: "How can anyone like Lompoc? We don't even have a bowling alley!" And I know that since all of you were avid bowlers, the closing of that bowling alley really hurt you, but there is so much more to Lompoc than having or not having a bowling alley, you just have to open your eyes and look around. Our town may not be perfect, but if you are only looking for bad things, then you will only find bad things, so I challenge all of you to start looking for the positive aspects of this town and I guarantee that eventually you will be able to find something good about Lompoc. Then, once you have found something, maybe you can also learn to appreciate this town as much as I do and when someone asks you where you are from, you can proudly say "I am from Lompoc, CA" and you will take the time to explain where exactly that is, even if that means you have to carry around a small map of California in your pocket. But the main thing is that we should stop thinking of Lompoc as a place we need to get away from as soon as possible and start thinking of it, instead, as a good place to start from.

The same goes for our high school. Lompoc High doesn't always get the best rap, but our school is not as bad as some make it out to be. And I have to say it is definitely the best high school in town. The students here can be just as great, or even better, than the students anywhere else. But the task of achieving greatness lies in the hands of the students and so it is up to us to show everyone just what can come out of Lompoc High School. I feel that this graduating class has already started to live up to this task and will continue to show the world what we can do as photographers, physical trainers, sports marketers, musicians, and, who knows, maybe even a future president. But we couldn't have done it all on our own so now I would like to take the time to thank the people who have helped me out along the way.

I would first like to thank my mom for giving me the strength to overcome anything, and I only wish she could be here today to see this. To the rest of my family, my dad and Joanne, my brother Jojo, who is also graduating today, as well as my grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins and the rest of my family, I cannot thank you guys enough for all of your love and support. I would also like to thank all of my friends; I am assuming you know who you are. And I would like to thank their families because I have eaten a lot of their food over the past four years. I would like to thank the cast of "Scrubs" for frequently distracting me from my studies and for always putting a smile on my face and I would also like to thank Geena Davis and Betty White for being awesome. I would, of course, like to thank all of my teachers going all the way back to pre-school because you can only learn so much on your own and because you guys created an environment that made me excited to come to school. You guys are amazing and I cannot put into words how grateful I am for what you have done for me and for what you guys do every day for all of your students. After all of the craziness of this year, I would especially like to thank Ms. Michel and Mrs. Rios for helping me with college and scholarship applications and for assuring me that writing all those essays was going to be worth it in the end. Well, now that the end is here, I would definitely have to say that it was all worth it.

To the underclassmen, I would like to tell you to get involved in as many activities as you can while in high school and to stick with everything, even when it gets extremely stressful, because when you are standing on this stage receiving your diploma, you will not regret any of it. And to my fellow graduating seniors, I would like to wish you all the best of luck and leave you with my twist on a famous Dr. Seuss quote. It goes something like this, "I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am"- Wait, that's the wrong quote. What I meant to say was this, "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because high school is finally over!!!" Congratulations everyone and thank you very much.
OP bmachado 5 / 23  
May 29, 2010   #2
I tried to make some of the changes you suggested, but I did not get what you meant by some of the others. As far as the sentence you said contradicts the previous one, that is because not many of my peers share my same views about the town, so their views are contradictory to mine. Is that what you meant by that?

Thank you for looking it over. Here it is with the corrections I made...
OP bmachado 5 / 23  
May 31, 2010   #3
I made a few more changes to the second paragraph:

... I have really grown to appreciate this town. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking: "How can anyone like Lompoc? ...

... so I challenge all of you to start looking for the positive aspects of this town and I guarantee that it won't take you long to find something good about Lompoc .
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
May 31, 2010   #4
I love the intro! I'm sorry EF Susan did not respond yet, she will soon, I'll ask her to take another look.

Well, six dresses, three dances, and one spot on prom court and four years later, here I am giving a speech at graduation. ( I think it would be better without that confusing part about a spot on the prom court. You can mention it later in the essay instead.

Best high school in town? That seems like a joke, but I'm not sure if you are kidding. Where I grew up, there was only one high school in town.

When you say this, "our school is not as bad as some make it out to be." I think you shoul immediately give some examples of unfair criticism and, more importantly, some examples of things (and people) that make is an excellent school in some ways. Got to give examples...

The Dr. Seuss stuff at the end is cool, too. They are smart to let you do this speech. Thanks for sharing it here with us. I have another Dr. Seuss quote for you:

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
OP bmachado 5 / 23  
May 31, 2010   #5
Thanks for the help!

There is one other high school in town and we are rivals, so I thought I would throw in one last little jab at them for fun.
OP bmachado 5 / 23  
Jun 5, 2010   #6
I gave the speech on Thursday and it went really well. Thanks for all the help!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jun 6, 2010   #7
That's great! Well the success is all yours, because it was already a great, lively speech when you first posted it here, before we made any suggestions. I'm glad I got to participate in the process!

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