“You are educated. Your certification is in your hands. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” Tom Brokaw
High school Graduation! It still seems surreal that I am a High School Graduate and getting prepared to pursue my dreams at the University level. I wanted to share my High school graduation memory with all of you because it is such a big part of who I am!
The evening began at 6 pm sharp- all graduates were to arrive an hour early to get their graduation apparel on (the gown and cap) and also for pictures to be taken by the newspaper, friends, family, and others. These moments were special because they were the last prior to graduation that all of the graduates were able to spend with each other; the people we have spent the last four years of our lives with. This was also a very special time for me personally, because my sister Stephanie made a surprise appearance. It was absolutely wonderful to be surrounded by so many people that you love and who love you.
It came time to organize together, after mingling and taking pictures, back into the school and into our graduation order. Alphabetically, we lined up inside the B-wing of our school which hid us from the crowd of people that were ready to congratulate us around the corner. This was a special moment filled with mixed feelings; some of us were getting anxious while others were feeling nervous or sad that the time had come which officially marked the end of our high school days.
When the clock struck 7 pm, because the Madawaska Valley District High School graduation is ALWAYS a punctual one, we began our walk down the hall, through our clapping and smiling teachers, and into the dimmed and elegantly decorated cafeteria where our friends and family stood celebrating our success. This experience was nearly as memorable as walking across the stage. It was overwhelming to feel the love and happiness surround you as the people who pushed you through school and loved you through it all, were standing there to praise you. Looking to the teachers that you became so close to, or the one that you struggled to get along with, and seeing their excited, proud and happy faces was truly incredible-they were recognizing our success as well.
Into our respective seats all of us graduates went. The graduation ceremony had begun! After special words from a representative of the Renfrew County School Board and MVDHS Principle Dave Bishop, the names began to be called out and we all followed across the brightly lit stage to receive our diploma. It was a true moment in the spot light had by all.
After all of the graduates received their diplomas, it became time for all other bursaries to be distributed as well as awards. I found it truly amazing how much the community of Barry’s Bay supports graduates; so many bursaries were awarded, and to a variety of very deserving students! The awards began to be explained and the recipients were also identified. Many of my friends were award winners which was incredibly exciting because they were so deserving of the award(s). It was also incredibly exciting to hear my own name read to the crowd as the recipient of two awards. I was awarded the Governor General Student
Volunteer Award as well as the MV Lions Club Citizenship Award. Both of these awards were ones that I felt very privileged to receive. Both depict a very active and involved community youth member which is someone who I strive to be. This coveted award is presented to someone who has obtained a number of community hours that exceeds the required 40 hours to graduate. I had an incredible number of community hours, in part due to my involvement with the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant Organization. I was continuously notified of community involvement opportunities
because this pageant organization strongly believes in giving back to your community whenever and wherever you can. Thank you very much Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant Organization for giving me those opportunities which enabled me to be a notable candidate for the above awards.
After all 79 graduates had been commended the graduation ceremony concluded. It was at this time that all of us were asked to stand and face our family and friends. Looking past and through the graduation caps and shoulders in front and to the side of you, your family and friends stood- they were smiling, some were crying, and overall appearing incredibly proud of the child, grandchild, sister/brother, niece/nephew, or dear friend that stood before their eyes. This period of time was short, but very unforgettable, and it was then the announcement came forward for all graduates to remove their graduation cap and toss them up into the air above their heads. We all had officially graduated high school! As we all exited the cafeteria, our graduation song “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa played. Some tears began for many because that song explained the essence of this event completely;
High school is not the same experience for everyone- not at all. There are good experiences and some not so good. Some may leave high school with too many friends, good memories, and successes to count, but for others, they leave high school with one or two friends—possibly none—some difficult memories that they do not want to remember, and grades that simply got them by. School can be really hard, and for some, their personal situation can make it increasingly hard for them. In saying this, each graduate of MVDHS deserves equal praise because all of them have been successful under their own personal circumstances.
Congratulations to all! I truly cannot wait to see all you again.
Keep tuned in,