2017 Graduation Speech by Camille Smith ’17 (John Burroughs ’23)
Good evening, my name is Camille Smith.
Everyone has at least one super power, one power that is stronger than the rest. This is the power to “rise up”. By rise up I mean to become a better and a more powerful you than the day before. Throughout my 8 years as a City Academy scholar, I have been encouraged to use this power to discover my true self. Though it took some time to discover all the mysteries that lie within me, my journey has been nothing less than pleasurable. Through the years, I’ve discovered my self-worth and my purpose. Teachers no longer had to say, “Camille, speak louder. I can’t hear you”. I accepted the challenge of projecting my voice in order to be heard when speaking. Each year has taught me to rise up in some capacity whether academically, socially or emotionally. I’ve grown from a soft-spoken introvert to a quiet leader, committed to going above and beyond to achieve greatness. Looking back on some of my darkest sleepless nights completing homework, preparing for test and finalizing projects, I am grateful for my self-discovery, coupled with the sea of challenges bestowed on me. Because of these moments, I have soared in ways that has surely prepared me to meet the demands of secondary school head on.
I would like to acknowledge those who have used their super powers to encourage and inspire me. To my parents, thank you for teaching me how to be a leader; to be a phoenix who rises up out of its own ashes and begins again. Who has taught me to encourage others and stand by people even when they’re in despair. And to my City Academy family, thank you for your patience for nearly a decade as I unraveled the mysteries and discovered my self-worth and values as a student. Diligence and hard work moves mountains. I’ve worked years in silence but can now scream to the top of my lungs, John Burroughs here I come.Share this: