A notably diverse crowd of students at Smoky Hill High School's commencement ceremony heard from fellow graduates who kept the spotlight on their different walks of life.
“How does my culture shape the way I see the world?” asked one of the students during Smoky Hill's group valedictory address at the June 10 ceremony.
It's a thought that came to mind alongside the question, “What do you want to do in life?” the student said.
Another student during the valedictory speeches told the story of her family winning the green card lottery, a program that facilitates immigration to the United States. She shared some words that stuck with her in her life: “Keep peace in your soul … you have overcome everything the world has already thrown at you.”
A fourth student's speech recounted wanting, but struggling, “to love this country.” He spoke of being looked down upon whenever a shooting was committed by a Black or Muslim person.
“We villainize entire demographics based on the actions of a few,” he continued. He added: “Shut away your preconceived notions.”
A third student spoke of his change in perception of the importance of grades, realizing the memories of how he spent time in high school were more impactful than the marks he got.
While he doesn't know the answers to life's big questions, he said, “I've learned to become a genius in my own way.”
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