Speech of the student Valeria Quintana

Speech of the student Valeria Quintana – Valedictorian
A ño 2006-2007

“CLASS OF 2007”
Wednesday , July 18th, 2007

Good morning board of directors, faculty of staff, families and friends and especially my graduating class of 2007. I am overjoyed to be the class valedictorian, but the truth is, I wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t been nourished with the love and support from my family, friends and my classmates.

Freedom of speech and civil rights can be suppressed, but education is a faithful companion that can’t be destroyed by crime, alienated by the enemy or enslaved by hegemonism. This is the reason why I am grateful for having to rouse at 6:30 am. even though I stayed up late, study for an exam about an incomprehensible subject and stay awake during a tedious class. To make a long story short, I am grateful for having bared these past fourteen years. On this day, our graduation, as a senior, I couldn`t agree more with Agustin Marissa when he said; “Education is bitter but its fruit is sweet”.

Fourteen years filled with numerous endeavors, some good and some of which I‘ll probably forget. Fourteen years of fascinating classes and not so fascinating ones. Particularly in these last ones, I was forced to pay attention or else my grade average could have plunged. If this wasn’t the case I wouldn’t have fought the closing of my eyelids. I thought about the significance of such monotonous subjects, and found no obvious answer. But now, as I stand before you, I come to realize that it is all about connecting the dots; when solving this dilemma I united the inert dots and realized that this is what molds us into competent humans and separates us from primates. It turns us into beings capable of adjusting our environment and setting up our future.

On another note, when reading what my classmates wrote in my senior shirt, a particular comment caught my attention. It went something like this; “Out of all people, I think you are the one most likely to succeed”. On one hand my ego was fed. But on the other hand I was slightly dubious, and thought, if I am the most likely to succeed, does this mean others won’t? The potential to succeed is not only in me but in every one you fifty two graduates; it only depends on how you develop it. We must find what we love to do, and do it. Always keeping in mind that life is too short to look back and regret the things we chose not to accomplish. Thus we must not settle for less until we find what we truly love.

In this institution we all have been given the means to change the world. One of these means is education. It’s up to us whether to use it or not. As farewell message to my classmates and the great family that is Colegio Jefferson, I quote Nelson Mandela and say: “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”.

Thank you for this wonderful years. I am certain that success will knock on your doors, I say dare to open them.