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2018 Graduation Speech by Shayla Danzie ’18 (John Burroughs ’24)

If the many years I’ve spent at City Academy have taught me anything, it’s that hard work provides you with opportunities. Since the very beginning of my career as a scholar here at City Academy, I have been given numerous opportunities that have shape me into the student and person I am today. The poem I’ve written, titled ‘From Grain to Slab’ represents the hard work that I’ve had to put forth in order to get these opportunities and how I’ve used them to benefit myself.

From Grain to Slab

First coming into being,I am the tiny grains of the earth

Right underneath the very ground you walk on.

I am clay.

As I am rooted from the ground,I am gathered collectively.

Ready to be moldedUntil I am cut into slabs and pounded.

And yet,

Even after I have been left pounded,I am ready to be molded

And shaped into something extraordinary.

A creation far from perfect,

But still the product of time and dedication Indented with errors that add on to my uniqueness.

But these errors do not make me flawed,

They add on to my beauty.

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