NEWBERRY — Newberry High School valedictorian, Kelsey Havird, discussed the journey the approximately 200 graduates will take after they leave Newberry High School.
“We have been talking about this day since we walked through the doors our freshman year, think about all of the things we have accomplished these last four years,” she said. “We can take the knowledge we have acquired to become better people and make the world a better place.”
No matter what the Newberry High School graduates planned on doing after high school, joining the workforce, military or higher education, Havird encouraged them to be successful and for everyone to be the best they can be.
“We must remember, success is built upon failure, and failure is how we learn and how we grow,” she said. “I encourage each of you to take the path to your own success, follow your dreams and passion and do not let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own.”
Havird added that life is a journey, and tomorrow holds new opportunities for every graduate.
“For us to continue to be successful we must realize there will be many bumps along the road, but in the end those will be the things that help us grow,” she said.
During Kaylee Busby’s salutatorian speech, she inquired if her speech would be memorable, and answered by saying it would be up to the graduates.
“Would I like it to be? Definitely, but chances are some of you will leave here today not remembering a single word I said, but that’s okay,” she said.
Busby’s first point was opportunity, she said like every single graduate in the room, she has had many opportunities.
“I grew up in a loving home with one parent, due to my mother being killed by a drunk driver when I was young, but like some of you today, I’ve learned different things from my struggles,” Busby said. “The main thing is that our living situation does not define who you are, we make our own path, we decide our own fate. We have worked so hard to be where we are today, and no one can take that away. We cannot blame anyone else for our faults and failures because at the end of the day we made our decisions, we put out what we put in.”
Busby’s next point was procrastination, she said this was a problem they all shared, and while it may feel great when you put stuff off, it isn’t necessarily the best thing.
“That’s probably a question I should have asked myself. I procrastinate, hence why I was writing my speech at approximately 12 a.m., my point is don’t do it, do as I say and not as I do,” she said.
Busby’s third point was asking for help, and while it may be hard to do, it is worth it. She also expressed gratitude to her dad for his help.
“Words cannot express how I feel for the guidance and assistance I received from all the teachers and staff at Newberry High School. I’m grateful for the teachers who pushed me to do my best, and for my teachers never having any doubt in me,” she said.
Busby ended by saying that she knew the majority of the graduates would forget what she said, but she hopes they will remember one thing.
“Keep one thing I said in mind, never drink and drive. I’ve lost a parent due to drinking and driving. I’m aware there will be plenty of parties, but please, for your friends and family, do not get behind the wheel if you drink,” she said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.