June 14, 2018
As Valedictorian and coerced student speaker, I have the honor of welcoming you to the graduation of our very own class of 2018. First, I’d like to thank FDA’s teachers and staff for making this ceremony and celebration possible. Not only are they some of the kindest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, they truly do care. They have invested years in their education to better ours. No other educators that I have met are as willing as these people to stop what they’re doing and sit face to face and teach you. All the staff has helped me to be where I am now. Whether it is giving a verbose lecture on parabolas and imaginary numbers, or a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. The environment at FDA is, what I feel, every school should emulate.
When I started there at 14, I was quiet and withdrawn. I don’t think I spoke to anyone but Mrs. Patrick for the first few months I was there. I expected it to be like every other school I had attended. The “accidental” shoves in the hallways, the snide remarks and the dirty looks. They never came. I realized that Fairborn Digital Academy was different. We all had our reasons for coming to FDA, so every student understood that everyone had problems. There was no room to bully others, or be rude. I came out of my shell with the help of my classmates and a few special friends. Now, at 16, I have the courage to stand up here and speak in front of you all.
FDA has opened many doors for me. I found out who I was while also getting an education I know will take me many places. I’ve been encouraged to achieve my dreams of becoming a teacher. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Armed with my diploma, I hope to inspire the generations after me. I wish to give each student the opportunity to change the world just as FDA has done for me.