To the class of 2019,
We’ve officially made it to the final day of high school… CONGRATULATIONS!
Thank you for electing Isabelle and I as your class and student body presidents over the course of these four years. It has been an honor representing you and the school and without your support we would not have had countless experiences that we associate with student government.
Always remember that today’s youth is who will change the world. We are the next generation of leaders. We are the next generation of advocates, business leaders, politicians. We are the next generation of change. Use your voice. Stand up and speak out. Bigger change starts one movement at a time. As Dr. Seuss says in The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better. It’s not.”
With that being said, I must say a few thank you’s.
First of all, where’s Papa Bondi. To my dad, my #1 fan, my biggest supporter, my favorite person, my therapist, and my best friend, I would not be the person I am today without you and most importantly I would not be on this stage without your constant support. You never miss a game, an award ceremony, or club event. You never fail to ask me about my day when I get home and you’ve dedicated your life to make sure that I can live my best one. For that I am eternally grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I want to say thank you to my mother as well. While she’s no longer here, I know she’s watching over me. She always taught me that the greatest power is possessed in knowledge and dedication, so I dedicate this speech to her.
To my friends - especially the ones I consider family - thank you for your love, your friendship, and your time. Maspeth High School would have just been a building without you, but you transformed it into a place I cherished going every day. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for all the talks.
To my coaches and teammates. Thank you for helping me develop into the player I am today. I’m going to miss the daily practices and all the hilarious inside jokes. I’ll even miss complaining about the 20 minute runs, that stinky cleat smell, and finding those little pellets all around my house.
To all of the staff and administration, thank you for empowering me. Thank you for empowering all of your students. I assure you, your commitment to the growth and well-being of Maspeth High School does not go unnoticed. Without you, we would not be the Blue Ribbon School we are today.
Thank you to all the parents who have gathered here today. It was truly an honor spending the past four years with everyone - the brightest, most genuine, motivational, and hilarious group of people I have ever met. Thank you for all you have sacrificed to watch us walk the stage today. This day is a celebration not only of our scholarship throughout the past four years, but your support and encouragement throughout the past.
And lastly, one of the most important thank you’s. Thank you to my best friend and your vice president - Isabelle Gozdyra. I still remember the day I dragged you out of Green Club with Mr. Bell to go to the student government meeting and run for class presidents. The various late nights we spent writing our speeches and crazed lunch periods as we ran around asking teachers for recommendations. The countless community board, participatory budget, and SLT meetings we’ve attended. All the trips and proposals we’ve written together have only brought us closer. I would not be giving this speech if it wasn’t for you. In fact, I couldn’t have made it through these past four years without you. Thank you isn’t enough.
And now, before I leave I’d like to leave you with a story:
Soooo my dad doesn’t know about this... but, around a month ago, I spent $20 on a psychic reading.
I know. I know. You’re probably questioning how I could make such an illogical, impulsive decision, but honestly I had to. You can’t expect me to walk away from a psychic who’s had clairvoyance in her family for 8 generations.
Anyways, so here’s the story: My friend and I were walking down Broadway and came across this small market and inside, at this booth, was this old woman just sitting behind this counter filled with energy stones and crystal necklaces, and instantly... I just knew this woman was about to talk business.
I sat down, opened my palm, and this is some of what she told me:
I am meant to be a leader. Despite me entering college as a Biology major right now, she said I had a path in business.
I will be successful. I will be at the top of my field and people will come to me for help and advice.
I will work to put my career first, then my family. I will have three kids - 2 boys and one girl - starting at the age of 27.
As of right now, I am lost within myself and need to find and discover who I am.
There will be big things to come in January 2020 - potentially going to meet my soulmate - and love in July, but she wasn’t really vibing with him, so we’ll see what happens.
Most importantly, she left me with this advice: if you see yourself moving backwards, even when you face rejection, if you feel yourself giving up… push through, continue, don’t stop, and rise above.
I thought about my reading as I took the M train home and I realized it was that last bit that made shoving out the $20 worth it. It was confirmation. The major, the job, the family, the kids… it will come in time. In fact, in my seventeen years on Earth, I’ve come to realize that it’s actually the most unexpected moments and people that have completely changed my life. I’m a firm believer in the fact that what and who is meant to find you will come to you with patience, but, in the meantime, it’s your goals, your aspirations, your attitude and mindset to how you want to turn your vision of success into reality that will drive your days.
Those values are what make you wake up every day and grind.
Those values are what will drive you to chase your passion. to chase opportunity. to do more. to work harder.
To all of you, I genuinely wish you all nothing but success, love, happiness, and good health. May you live an eventful life. May you chase your passion and have the courage to continue forward despite hardship.
Thank you for a wonderful four years. Thank you for the impact you have made on your classmates, your teammates, your teachers, your coaches, your parents. Without even just one person from this class, Maspeth wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Live well and all love.