GOOD AFTERNOON….. I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRADULATE MY FELLOW CLASSMATES. MY NAME IS ANDRE GALARZA AND I AM VERY PROUD TO SAY I AM THE VALEDICTORIAN OF THIS CLASS.
Four years ago, I was sitting at my computer, at Riverhead High School, writing this very speech as my “Personal Statement” to get into C.W. Post. You know what I am talking about. The 200 to 500 word “essay” that you use to describe who you are. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had no idea who I was. There was so much going through my mind and no way to organize it. The scariest thing in my life was the future.
Not much has changed. The future still is a very frightening idea, but I no longer fear it! To get this far, we have had to toss aside the idea of fate, and create our own destinies. And that’s not going to end here. In fact, life has only just begun. In the years to come, we will all be given the chance to see our sacrifices and hard work pay off. I can tell by looking at all your faces that your mouths are literally watering to get out there and pounce on life. We have got to jump in their head first, confident of our potentials to achieve greatness. And there is not a doubt in my mind that every person in this crowd has that potential.
That’s a funny thing though. What is greatness? We all aspire to be great, but really only a handful of people know what it is, and fewer actually achieve it. So on this day of graduation, where can we go from here? What is this greatness that we aspire to?
To an engineer, greatness might mean creating an rock-hard design that stands the test of time. To an athlete, greatness may be hitting that ace to win Wimbledon, or making a field goal in the final second of the Super bowl to win the game. To an actor, greatness might mean getting the Oscar for best performance. To those of us taking on...