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2018 Graduation Speech by Al-Amin Anderson-El

I can very vividly recall my first day at City Academy. Walking through the doors, I froze. Everything seemed so massive. The hallways seemed to run miles long, the steps where like stepping stones and I was for sure to need a map just to find my way to the cafeteria or the art room for that matter.

Thinking back on my first day, I remember gathering outside to line up and being mesmerized by the sea of kids on the turf field. There were crying kids, laughing kids, screaming kids, and excited for the first day of school kids. And then, there was me, frozen, overwhelmed by my first day of “real school”.

As a 5-year-old, my eyes had never captured so much newness at one time. I was a shy, antisocial, momma’s boy who was afraid of meeting anyone new and unprepared for the challenges ahead. At that age, I had never made decisions for myself, but that day, August 9, 2010, I had made the decision that I was certain, that this would be my first and last day at this school.

As you can see, my decision didn’t stand. My parents knew what was best for me, and here I stand before you today. I stand this evening thankful for the devastations I faced as a timid kid intimidated by all that City Academy had to offer. I am thankful for experiencing all of my “first”. My first school, my first chance at swimming, my first violin recital, my first overnight camping trip, my first encounter with disappointments, my first failed test, and my first achievement.

That shy, antisocial, momma’s boy turned into a scholar, exposed to opportunities many students my age only dreamt of. My mornings spent shedding tears as a little tyke transformed into the upbeat kid who could go on and on about my day, leaving out no details what so ever. City Academy grew on me.

Today, May 23rd, 2018, I am appreciative of City Academy for helping me to take pride in who I am, and my faith has definitely helped me to see it through. I would like to thank my City Academy family, my classmates and a special shout out to my parents for their dedication and love. Thank YOU!

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