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In Case You Missed It: BSGE Almuni Shamar Walters’ Graduation Speech

I give honor to our principal Ms. Kelly Johnson, the vice-principal Ms. Ines Loveras, our graduation coordinators Mr. Virge Ramos and Mrs. Vanessa Rabines, to every single member of the Baccalaureate staff from the teachers to the wonderful people working in the office too.  Just any and everyone because all of you have been vital to these past six years. I give honor to my parents and family and to all the families and friends that are in attendance here today. And most of all I honor you the graduating class of 2009!
I can still remember my first day at BSGE, in seventh grade. I hadtransferred in from my old school and I was two months late. I walked into Ms. Kumar’s English class and I sat down at my seat and all I could think about was the fact that I didn’t know anyone in my class and no one was going to talk to me. In the midst of that a girl sat down at her seat looked at me and said “hey, you’re new. What’s your name?”  And as she began to talk to me more and more students started to come over and ask questions and soon that one turned to three and that three turned to seven and so on and so on. As that first day continued and the rest of the year ensued… I realized there was something very different about this school. There was a sense of community. And now six years later looking back on that, I realize that really is what BSGE is all about, while we are all celebrated for our unique characteristics and traits we still are one. We really are that “BSGE family” that Ms. Johnson always addresses us as.
So when I was told to prepare something for today, I was at a loss. “What can I possibly tell them after we have been through so much in the past years other than ‘we have been through a lot and thank goodness it’s over?” And I sat there letting my mind travel through the times I thought about the Extended essay and the personal project and the math and the itgs portfolio’s and I thought wow after all that it’s so easy to look at this day and say “it’s all over” and that this is it. However, I want to encourage you today, to not let this be where it ends and to continue on the path that has been started for you here at BSGE. In the past 4 or 6 years we have done a lot of work and lost a lot of sleep. And there were plenty of times when we all wished we were in another school where we wouldn’t have to work so hard. We watched our friends and peers in other schools take it easy and cruise through school while we dealt with having to do one assignment after the other. And as you completed one thing here came another one due right after. And then you look up and CAS is due in a few weeks and you need like 30 hours. Through all that it seems like there is never ever anytime for anything. But these times of chaos will soon prove their worth because in reality life is chaotic. I’m sure all the adults present here today can tell stories of having to find time to go to work, pay bills, raise children, maintain a house or an apartment and still find time to do things for themselves on a daily basis. And soon we’ll all be in those types of situations because that is what life as an adult is. However, unlike most students we are not going into this new stage of life and responsibility without a leg to stand on. These past years at BSGE have served as a foundation for us to stand and build upon and every 1,000 word paper and every all-nighter helped to further cement that foundation.
Now as we move on into the next phase of our lives, it is up to us to build upon this foundation. It is not enough to simply be satisfied with this moment. This day does not completely validate our time here at the Baccalaureate School. Instead it’s what we do and accomplish from this point on that will prove the value of our times here at BSGE. So I implore you all to not let this day become your stopping point. We must take the lessons and experiences we’ve gained here and use them to achieve our goals and aspirations. And when the chaotic winds of life begin to blow, stand firm on this foundation knowing that you are well equipped with what it takes to meet every challenge.
Although we won’t be reporting to 34-12 36th ave everyday anymore, I encourage you to not let your BSGE experience end with today instead take it with you and use it as you go out into the world and strive for the success that I know is waiting for each and everyone of us.
To the parents and friends that have been there throughout this whole process, thank you. Thank you for dealing with us when we did not necessarily want to deal with you. Thank you for patience and your never-ending support. I ask that you continue to be that support system that we can turn to because although we have come to a stage in life where a lot of the responsibility falls on us, we still need you to be that support system we can turn to.
To the wonderful staff at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, I’d like to thank all of you because without you this day would not be possible. I also ask that you continue to nurture and bring about young men and women just like you have done for us. With individuals like you steering our youth there is a very positive future ahead
And finally to the Graduating Class of 2009, it has been an honor to stand before you and have words on this graduation day and it has been a privilege to have known each and everyone of you. I wish for you and your families the greatest successes that life has to offer.
~Thank you~

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