The Paly Voice acquired the following speeches from their authors, with their authors’ consent to publish. The authors wrote the speeches with the intention of delivering them at graduation, but were not selected by a panel of staff members. The views stated in these speeches do not necessarily reflect the views of The Paly Voice, nor those of its staff.
Graduation Speech: Christina Le
Good evening everyone,
On behalf of the Class of 2016, I’d like to welcome all esteemed faculty, friends, and family to the 122nd graduation ceremony of Palo Alto High School. Well class, we started from the bottom, and now the whole team is here, ready to graduate high school. Today is the day to celebrate our journey and accomplishments as individuals and as a class. It seems like it was just yesterday that we experienced our freshman orientation, first football game, first spirit week, and even the first streak week. Through our four year journey together, we have grown both physically and mentally. Our class has undeniably been one of the most successful graduating classes to walk through Palo Alto High School. This year, our athletic department has had 11 college athlete recruits, and has won many notable titles. Our various student organizations and clubs have flourished, and proudly represented our school, winning countless awards over the last four years. However, our years at Palo Alto High School were no walk in the park. Each and every one of us has experienced our fair share of disappointments and obstacles that we’ve had to overcome. Through our years together, there is no doubt in my mind that this class is resilient. We survived the streak week ban, mandatory tutorial check-ins, and no food in the library rules. But in all seriousness, our grade has risen above the obstacles, and has become one united class, win together, lose together, classmates. The fact that we stand here decorated with awards, accomplishments and knowledge is just a testament to our commitment to excellence and success. Graduates, you have all grown to be powerful and intellectual individuals who are destined for greatness. Street poet and philosopher Drake once said, “Look at where I landed, You would think I planned it, I’m just doing me, You could never understand it,”. Things might not always go the way you planned, but being a part of the class, I know that each and every one of you is capable of making life the best you can. After all, it is the journey that often teaches you about your destination. As we move forward from our days at Paly, I ask that you live life the way you want to, do what makes you proud, because “you only live once”. Graduates, strive to be the best version of yourself and remain fearless because you are viking. Right now, I’d like to take the time to give thanks to our amazing teachers, warm guidance department, my family, and most importantly, all of you in caps and gowns. In the words of one well-known hip-hop producer,“We da best.” Congratulations to the brave, the bold, and the beautiful class of 2016, let’s get it, let’s go.