Speaking for new beginnings


Bradenton Herald

After four years of early mornings, projects and exams, Manatee High School seniors are getting ready to go out and face the world. On the day of May 18, seniors will receive their diplomas, along with their freedom. Graduation is a big deal for all seniors but three students especially have a lot on their plate. Yeraldy Albarran, Collin Hicks, and Emma Johnston were chosen to speak at the graduation ceremony, a process that took a lot of time and effort. Through writing a speech, turning in an application, getting teacher recommendations and performing to a selection committee, these students put in a lot of time and effort to get this role. These students will be speaking along with the student body president, Ben Barnes, and the senior class president, Hannah Cavis.

“I feel like speaking at graduation is an opportunity I wouldn’t want to pass up, so when I got approached by Ms. McCarthy about doing a little more in speech class and maybe even doing graduation, I at first thought it was a little bit out of my league and a little bit too much, but I just went on my phone and started typing up an essay and I started to like the essay and I started to get involved in it and once I got so involved in it I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass,” said senior Collin Hicks, one of the three students chosen to speak at graduation.

Bradenton Herald
Oh The Places You’ll Go– Senior Chloe’ Hollands is one of the speakers for the 2016 Manatee graduating class. Hollands, along with the two other speakers, Dominique Mickler and Ian MacDonald. “‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,'” said Hollands, quoting Dr. Seuss.

Manatee High has never chosen a valedictorian, so every year students have to apply and say their speech in front of a committee for it to be chosen.

These students all wanted to say their speech because they believe they had something to say. They wanted to give one final lesson to the seniors before they go out into the world. All three students have different messages for the Class of 2019. Hicks is speaking about how graduation is not an end, but a beginning. Johnston wants to inspire students to do something meaningful after high school and Alberran is telling students to go out and accomplish their dreams, because no one else is going to do it for them.

“My biggest message is to do something actually meaningful, like we emphasize so much on doing just something after high school, but it’s really doing something meaningful and what meaningful is depends on the person it depends on sort of where your direction is in life, but do something meaningful, don’t just waste your time after high school,” said Johnston.

The students that were selected all believe that this is a great opportunity not only to speak at graduation but to get them ready for life in the professional field. Hicks feels that learning how to speak and especially the importance of speaking at graduation has helped him speak in front of people.

Another sentiment that all three students agree on is that they suggest speaking at graduation to underclassmen who will be seniors in the future. This occasion is one that will teach and help people as well as the speakers themselves, and as Johnston said, the worst thing that could happen is the student does not get the role and even then, they will have a good speech written to signify their effort.

“I feel like I’ve been through so much, that I want to motivate other people,” stated Alberran about her reason for wanting to speak.