Good Afternoon. I’d like to welcome you to the graduation of the class of 2014 and thank you all for coming. Family, friends, teachers and administrators, it means a lot to us that you’re here.

Today is a very special day. We’ve all come so far. It seems like just yesterday we were walking in the front doors of the old high school, and the thing I remember most is looking up at those giant seniors. Now we are those giants. However, it doesn’t really feel that way. It’s kind of like a birthday. You wait and wait for your birthday because you’ll finally look and feel older. But your birthday comes along, and you still feel the same.

Here we are graduating high school, and we still feel the same. We still feel like those same little kids on the first day of seventh grade, ready to take on whatever high school threw at us. And in a lot of ways we are. Except now we’re not taking on high school, we’re taking on life. Now we’re not taking on exams, and papers, and cafeteria food. We’re taking on college, and jobs, and the economy, and serious relationships. Now we’re taking on the real world; real problems, real challenges, REAL adversity. But luckily if there’s one thing high school has taught us, it’s how to overcome adversity.

I can’t count on both hands the number of difficulties each and every one of my classmates has faced. And the fact that they’re sitting here in front of me today is proof that they overcame every difficulty, conquered every challenge, and endured every hardship. However, getting here is just the beginning. Graduating high school is a fantastic accomplishment, but it’s only a milestone. A milestone at the start of the road to success. And remember success doesn’t come without adversity. You didn’t get here without adversity, and you won’t succeed in the real world without it. Adversity is everywhere. No matter how old we are there is always going to be a difficulty or challenge we have to face. The challenges we face will change, but the way in which we deal with those challenges should never change.

We should face adversity in the future with the same readiness and willingness we did in high school. In high school we faced it with each other. Not alone but with our collective strength. Never forget about those who have been by your side since day one. Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Regardless of where life takes you, always stick together with those who care about you.

To conclude, it’s been an unforgettable six years here at CHS. Although we are about to go our separate ways, I’ll never forget the time we shared here. I’ve made lifelong friends and memories, learned valuable lessons, received a quality education, and so much more. There’s never been, and there never will be a class as special as this one. Thank you.