Graduates Rise

Yesterday we went to two graduation parties.  I love graduation parties that are held in August.  In June, they are all clumped together and it is hard to spend time at each one.  Yesterday, even though we had two parties to attend, they were spaced nicely and we could spend lots of times with the graduates, their families, and friends.  Both parties were outdoors and the weather was perfect.

The two graduates are the nicest young people you could hope to meet.  They each have a strong faith, a great mind, and a commitment to doing good in this world.  Both have bright futures ahead of them.  I believe that each of them will leave a significant mark on the world.  Please keep Andrew and Morgan in your prayers as they finish last-minute preparations for college and head off on their journey.

I thought back (way back) to my own high school graduation and to the scared, small-town girl that I was as I entered college.  I was book-smart but very socially awkward.  I had lived a very sheltered life and my life experiences were limited.  I gave a speech at my high school graduation, but I can not remember what I said and I can not imagine that it was very inspiring.

In contrast to my forgettable graduation speech, here is that graduation speech of Deonte Bridge, 2010 valedictorian of Booker T. Washington High School.

Deonte Bridge, at his young age, has had more harsh life experiences than I have had in my life.  He has overcome adversity with faith and grace.  He calls his fellow graduates, and everyone who hears his speech, to “Rise” and achieve.  His speech inspires me to begin today to make the most of every day and every opportunity, to become the best person I can be, and to use the gifts that God has given me to make the world a better place.

Deonte Bridge gives me hope for the future.  Andrew and Morgan give me hope for the future.  Congratulations to all three of these wonderful recent high school graduates.  I know that they will indeed “Rise” and make the world a better place.

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