Dear Class of 2021,
Here it is: the culmination of your high school career.
As you don your cap and gown and turn your tassel from the right to the left, I urge you to pause for a moment and simply take it all in.
Graduation in itself is an accomplishment but you did not simply achieve the goal of graduating. You achieved that goal in the wake of some of the most chaotic years in recent history, years marked by a devastating Category 5 hurricane, national social and political unrest, and a global pandemic.
Despite the chaos, you adapted. You overcame the obstacles. You pushed through.
It is for this reason I have confidence in whats to come as you make the transition from student to graduate.
You have the problem-solving experience to look at this world and find your own way to make it better. And its perfectly okay if your way looks a lot different from that of your classmates.
Maybe youre college bound; maybe youre not.
Maybe youre moving away to embark on a new adventure; maybe youre staying here to contribute back to the community in which you grew up.
Truly, theres no wrong answer.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream.
And the true beauty of that message is that the dream is yours to do with as you please, to adapt and grow as you yourself adapt and grow.
In closing, my wish for you other than great success is that somewhere in between the pomp and circumstance, amid the camera flashes and well wishes, that you will recognize and embrace the value of your individuality, that you will discover your passion and pursue it with purpose.
Congratulations, Class of 2021. Go forth and do amazing things in your own unique way.