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Intimidation Kept Me Going

Good Evening! My name is Shiloh Banda and I am pleased and grateful to be standing before you this evening. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be welcomed into a warm institution like City Academy. But never in a trillion years could I imagine standing here as an independent young scholar on Graduation Night; well my day has come.

I have had the privilege of traveling two types of roads during my time here. From my painting; the left side of the road exhibits somber and doubt while the right side depicts radiance and hope.

As a young 6 year old little girl, I was completely clueless on what I was getting myself into coming to City Academy. I was grateful for the opportunity, yet afraid and intimidated by not only how remarkable and appealing the school looked, but fearful that I would not fit in. But for some reason, intimidation gave me hope and the will to strive for excellence.

Before I knew it, days turned into months and months turned into years; as my City Academy journey soared, within the blink of an eye, my somber days turned into faint rays of sunlight. Through such rays, my personality shined brighter and from such light I was able to celebrate myself. I didn’t stop here. I kept striving.

Though I still don’t fully know myself, what I do know, is that I dare to meet the end of the road. Dark roads and doubt will come, but what I have learned is to prepare myself for the worst in order to survive the worst. The most important lesson I have learned through such darkness is I must remember where I started, where it felt like there was no escape soon discovering that when troubles aroused me, I kept going, When hardships devoured me, I kept going knowing that staying focus and motivation is key. Motivation comes from my heart and my brain. Therefore, whatever path I encounter I must not give up, but continue to my everlasting road of triumph.

I am very fortunate to have a great support system to allow for such triumphs. I am thankful for my City Academy teachers, administrators, classmates and my extended family for traveling down my road with me. To my twin brother Paul for always keeping me balanced between my roads and to my lovely mother, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is not only my graduation, but yours as well. I thank you for directing me on my road and staying one foot behind me in spite of your road of obstacles. I am now ready for a new kickoff at Westminster Christian Academy in the fall and overcoming new sets of doubts that will soon drive me to my goals in the future.

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