Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Call for Greatness

First of all, I would like to welcome all of our distinguished guests, friends and most of all, parents to this wonderful occasion—our commencement ceremony for the class of 2009. Again, good morning 2009 graduates! It’s been a long time coming. Twelve long hard years in the making has brought us to this wonderful day and this precious moment.

This day is special because it is the beginning of something much greater. It is the start of a new chapter in our lives that will set us forth into the real world. Over the coming months, we will go forth and fulfill our destiny as future leaders of the 21st century. That is a special calling laid down by our predecessors.

Many of us will be leaving to college within the state and around the country. Some will go to trade schools and will become great chefs and architects for the next skyscraper or modern marvel. I can see Latrina on the cover of Avon magazine promoting her new perfume. I can see Kevin being the next great NFL player. I can also see Triana being a top news reporter for The Detroit Free Press. There’s no doubt in my mind that we all are going to be doing something amazing in the years to come.

However, we truly owe thanks to our ancestors who died for us; parents and guardians who worked by our side and teachers that never gave up on us. Most importantly, we have to thank ourselves. In all reality we made the decision to be here today. But what begins today must not end tomorrow. Our journey is a never ending fight for success. Our city, in fact, our country needs us now more than ever before.

Today, black men make up 45% of the inmates in federal, state, and local prisons. Only 4% of black males are in higher education institutions. WHAT IS THIS? THIS SURELY IS NOT THE BRIGHT YOUNG MEN THAT I KNOW AT OSBORN! BUT THAT’S NOT MY CALL TO SAY WHO WILL FAIL AND WHO WILL SUCCEED. Instead, I will issue a challenge to us all. I dare you to overcome the fears that have plagued so many of our peers, by embracing the ideals of hard work, commitment and the rigors associated with education. Nurture the opportunity given to you by our ancestors. As my wise mentor Frank McGhee once said….YOU MUST DEFINE YOUR PATH! Webster can not do it for us. We can not continue to live as victims to the system. Instead, we must reach the summit of our true potential. This is the path I dare all of us to take. It is a path that will transform you into champions of transformation.

Yes, we have managed to crawl out of the rubble of a challenging school life filled with many different wars. There were many pit falls along the way. We had to prove ourselves by climbing the mountains of self doubt in order to reach the summit of opportunity. But it’s not over. This opportunity can last a life time. Ladies and Gentlemen wake up!!! Young black males are an endangered species to the virus of not having an education. Let’s eradicate this virus by staying the course. We must not falter. We must not quit. Our community is depending upon us.

It has been a true honor to be your class of 2009 President and no matter what anybody says about the job I’ve done, know that I have enjoyed and will miss all the different things we have done together. You have helped me become a better person and a strong leader. Therefore, I thank you.

We thank all the counselors that stayed late after school for us and all the security guards that broke up the fights or disagreements we may have had. WE THANK EVERYONE WHO GAVE ALL THEY COULD TO SEE US THROUGH TO THIS DAY, BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE THE PEOPLE WE WILL BECOME.

I would like to thank our Principal Steven McGhee, Senior Sponsor Ms. Hardwick, Mr. Martin, my Vice President Marcel Anderson, Secretary Angel Hall, and Treasurer, Lachell Holien. This has been a challenging year for us all, but one that many lessons have been learned from. In the end, we all understood the true purpose of this journey of 12 years and that was to get to this day. LOOK TO THE PERSON ON THE LEFT OF YOU SAY, “ WE MADE IT”. LOOK TO THE PERSON TO THE RIGHT OF YOU AND SAY, “WE MADE IT”. Always remember this moment and what it meant to you.

For all the people that think they knew the class of 2009 and what we’re about…….We want you to remember this…..THE CLASS OF 2009 IS THE FUTURE DARING TO BE DIFFERENT AND CHALLENGING ANYONE WHO THINKS OTHER WISE!!! As we walk across this stage with our heads held high, we want you all to know that indeed we will make great dreams possible and the nature of those dreams into reality.

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