Cherish this Moment! Graduation 2023

This year’s speakers at the grade 12 graduation were Júlio M. and Violet R. Here is a copy of their speech for those who weren’t present.

Enter w power pose

Júlio: How does one say goodbye to the people, the experiences, and the way of life that they’ve grown so used to? How do we move on from the comfort of seeing friends, peers, and teachers in the hallways on a daily basis as we’ve done for the past two years? 

Violet: Yet the sorrow of leaving is balanced by the excitement of the new adventures to come, and the knowledge that no matter where we go, we will carry with us the incredible memories and connections that we’ve built these past few years.

And we’ll also carry the shared experience of the IB, and the obstacles we’ve faced and overcome thus far. 

J: The truth is, we’ve been through one of the hardest school systems in the world and many people we meet in the years to come won’t understand the magnitude of the challenges put in our path. This common background unites us. 

V: It unites us beyond our geographical, cultural, and personal differences, forming a tightly knit yet remarkably diverse community, which, in our international school, serves as a microcosm of the outside world. 

J: And this community would not have been possible without the help of our devoted teachers. Their enthusiasm and compassion provided us with a sense of stability in a time where we might have felt lost. 

V: So, to our teachers: words aren’t enough to capture our gratitude for every little thing you’ve done to help us grow into the people we are today. Thank you for being our guides on this journey, we will miss you in the years to come. 

J: And to the friends and family who’ve been there for us along the way, it’s been a pleasure to have you by our side, supporting us through every step, giving us room to bloom. 

V: Starting now, we look at this new and unknown world that’s in front of us and question ourselves on the many paths we can take. Some might have obstacles that cause fear, doubt, uncertainty. However, as scary as it may seem, we have to take a leap of faith. 

J: Try to look at life as a labyrinth and think about each path set in front of you. Know that reaching a dead end isn’t grounds for stopping or giving up, but an opportunity to go back and try again. Take the knowledge of previous events and build upon it. No matter how many tries it takes, one thing is certain, and one thing I can promise, there is a path, there is a way and eventually, with resilience and determination we will all reach our goals. Complete our journeys. 

V: And there’s no reason to rush. Walk steadily and with confidence, try to enjoy every little moment along the way, making it a solid foundation for you to grow from. As the great Margaret Atwood, author of the Handmaid’s Tale and… [pause] others, once said:

J: “You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see.”

V: When met with the inevitable challenges that are coming ahead, sometimes adjusting one’s mindset is all it takes to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. But then again, I think a lot of us have heard enough from Atwood to last at least a couple years.

J: [small pause for laugh] So rather than such an academic quote, why not end on something a little more fun. Here’s a quote from our personal hero [pause], Dominic Toretto. 

V: [small pause] “No matter where you are, whether it’s a quarter mile away, or halfway across the world, the most important thing in life will always be the people in this room, right here, right now.”

J: [pause] Congratulations class of 2023. Cherish this moment.