Good afternoon, Principal Jacob F Ganteh, the Administration of George E. Simmonds High School, faculty, parents, family, friends, and the 7th graduating Class.
I want to thank you for allowing me to speak to you today. You could have selected someone to serve as your keynote speaker for this all-important occasion amongst the many young and bright minds, but you chose me. I’m humbled.
Before I speak to the graduates, let me congratulate our hard-working parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and all other family members who worked tirelessly to ensure these graduates remained in school until graduation today; this success is for you. You can be proud today that you have fought well; your resources and your pieces of advice did not go in vain. You’ve raised your kids to be who they are today.
To my distinguished graduates, you have advanced through the first step of your educational sojourn. According to the most common definition, education is “the key to success,” but success has never traveled in a straight line. It remains uneven, and for every two steps forward, it feels like we take one step back. I know that this sounds familiar to many of us. It was my situation growing up. But you are the plug to your success. Today you are joining a larger society where you will meet a lot of distractions; I want to encourage you to stay focused on your plans. We young folks often get carried away by our buddies’ goals; you need to stick to yours and be passionate about achieving them.
My distinguished graduates, I am fond of this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that says, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.” I believe it. And some of us who have tasted success without working for it also believe this. But when you face your challenges, making God the focus and work tirelessly to achieve them, you will realize the genuineness of such success. I am confident that you can make the right choices because you are better today than when you walked in here seeking answers years ago.
Permit me to quickly inform you that I will be running for the Representative position of this noble district. Your story is my story, I lived in District 9 and went through hardships; I also witnessed decades of bad governance and poor leadership in our district. As a community advocate and humanitarian; I feel obligated to change this story and this is why I am in this race. We will knock on your doors later but I just thought to officially inform you all.
May God bless you all.