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I Can

Good evening! My name is Madison Moore and I’ve been attending City
Academy since kindergarten. And, if I’m being honest, kindergarten and first grade was a blur, but what I do remember is this one time in EC, my class wrote down the phrase, “I Can’t” on paper, and we took it outside to the old garden beds and buried it. Whenever I thought I couldn’t do something those first few years, I just remembered how I buried those words in the dirt and how “I Can’t” was dead.

I’ve never been a fan of giving up. When I turned 5, my parents began teaching me how to tie shoes. And, it seemed like I just couldn’t get the hang of it. A year later, I was still determined, so I slipped on my Mom’s shoes and continued working at it, and pretty soon I could tie my own shoes. Which I was thrilled about!

It went on like that for a while, little victories that I still worked hard to earn, like learning how to distinguish my B’s and D’s, and learning how to hold a pencil. Until I learned how to read. My parents began reading to me when I was 3, but I wanted to be able to read by myself, too. So when I learned to do it in first grade, I ran with it. And, in third grade, I picked up a book that I thought would make me an official advanced reader, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And as soon as I read that first chapter, I knew that getting into the world of capes, wizards, and little elves might have been a mistake. I remember thinking that a 300 plus page book would take me the rest of my life to read because it was so excruciatingly long and boring. But then I remembered the death of “I Can’t” and that I could finish that book, and when I finished it, I loved it and I continued it until the last book of the series. That was the first time that thinking of burying “I Can’t” gave me confidence. That perseverance lead me to many triumphs, such as getting a main part in the To Kill A Mockingbird play, or getting first in the robotics competition alongside my sister.

When I was writing this speech and reflecting on my 7 years at City Academy, my mind was blank. So, I’d like to thank my teachers for not only helping me come up with ideas to add in my speech, but for explaining questions on pieces of homework throughout the years, and working with me after class when I asked for it. I’d especially like to thank Mrs. Laz, the teacher who took us outside to bury “I Can’t”. And most importantly, I’d like to thank my family, especially my parents and my sister, Gabrielle, for encouraging me, helping me get to where I am now, and always being by my side. I’d also like to thank my Nana and PawPaw for always showing me love, and making me laugh. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing family as I do! “I Can” is so much bigger than me. Whatever I set my mind on to accomplish, others were there to support me and my efforts. And tonight, I stand before you thankful for not only my own determination, but for the support of others. It’s that support that has helped me through City Academy, and that same support that will help me through John Burroughs in the fall!

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