The moment has now come to embrace a new beginning. It is time for us to explore what is next. But I must warn you, to not walk blindly into that open cliff, but to use what you have learned in this institution to aid you in a world that might not want you to succeed. It is imperative that you do not let yourself be dazed by the fairytales of the world. We live in a time when ignorance, and acceptance of the now has accomplished nothing more but to revert back in the progress we have accomplished.
I urge you to be open-minded, to be a risk-taker, to be an inquirer, but to not be silent. The system will force us to stand alone, to be weary of those around. It will force us to succumb to a state of bliss. A fake bliss that hides behind a wall of despair. Do not let yourself be chained and explore new places, interact with new people, and let yourself be molded---not by the horrors of the world---but by the promise of peace.
The world of today is guided by the ignorant belief that money is everything. For too long, we have let the world neglect us. For too long we have endured the silence. We must speak up for Parkland, Venezuela, Syria, and Guatemala. Porque somos más que una nación, somos la raza humana y merecemos un mundo mejor.
To come back to this moment, I would like to first congratulate all of you for completing four years of learning. We have all endured the struggle of school, and we have all survived. However, the battle brings its rewards. The knowledge that you now have, has forged your mind so that it has the power to speak up and be resilient. Do not be afraid of what is to come. But know that you must strive for a better you, and a better tomorrow. Se tu y cambia el mundo.
Lisa Torres, Ogden International Class of 2018
We are very proud of our graduates at Ogden International. Please read the Class of 2018 Keynote address from Ogden graduate Daniel Ibarra, who's personal story is very relevant today.
"Good evening everyone, BUENAS TARDES MI NOMBRE ES Daniel Guadalupe Ibarra and is an honor speaking here in front of all of you today. To each and every one of you I would like to say thank you. Thank you for supporting us in our high school years, I can speak for myself to say it was not easy to support me the past few years and the same probably applies to you and your student.
I am here to speak about what I’ve learned and who I am thankful for and speak about what the future holds for us just like they expect one of us to say. I will make that part quick as I have more to say as we leave these halls of high school.
I have to say I’m thankful for teachers for supporting me. I don’t know how they did it or how you guys did it. Thank you Mr. Allmen for telling me that I needed to study the night before the exam, thank you Ms. Eisenbaum for telling us to learn a whole novel for a single question, Thank you Ms. K for making us laugh when you spoke your truth. I would personally like to thank Mr. McGinnis for having me question my mental state everyday with a new psych study we had to memorize. Oh my god, also Ms. Worley because I’m surprised she hasn’t completely lost it after the summer before Senior year as basically 99% of students contemplated dropping IB. The counselors for also supporting us and the rest of the staff and the teachers for getting us through whom I haven’t mentioned.
I’ve learned that we all have a voice TENEMOS UNA VOZ and we should use it when we can. We learn that we are outspoken and other fancy words IB likes to use for their learner profiles. I will not miss that. We have a VOZ and our stories matter. It may not be easy to speak up but we should all try at some point to be heard. There is a beauty in having a VOZ, because not everyone has that.
That reminds me, I am thankful for my father who cannot be here today as he is now facing deportation to Mexico. I hope he gets to see this or hear this one day and I look forward to being in his arms again. UN DÍA EN EL FUTURO.
Now to what I wanted to discuss, the differences between expectations and reality. We have half truths.
Half truth number one, obstacles are easy to overcome. We all face obstacles in our life, and some are easier than others. On June 8th it would be three years since I last had personal contact with my father and it would be one week since he has been detained by ICE. I never thought that the nightmare will end, but look at me here I am standing before you today at this high school graduation ceremony. There the big obstacle was losing my father which was very difficult, hard. I do not wish that upon anyone, but there was something positive and easy that came from it. I learned about myself and what I am capable of, my VOZ as a Latino male grew. The obstacles we face only make us stronger is true, remember that.
Half truth number two, we all learn in the same or in similar ways. This is wrong because learning is supposed to be subjective. I still remember the feeling when finals were going to happen and we were all scrambling to get out grades up. Why? Because grades are quantified and we ourselves created comparisons consciously and subconsciously whether or not we would like to admit it. I know I don’t. We had to learn to deal with it and try to prove others wrong. Some of us also had our intelligence questioned both in and out of school because of our background. I would like to remind you all that A’s for doing nothing is not better than C’s for studying three times as hard. We all learn in our own ways.
Think about your learning as self development. Prove people wrong about the limitations they think you have. We don’t all share the same difficulties and struggles. What we do share are emotions and the ability to work hard to move forward. That is where out VOZ comes in. We worked hard to get here today and we will just keep moving forward.
I learned that we are all dreamers in American society no matter who we are and what others have to say based on our background. Use your VOZ, it is valuable. You have continued doing the most difficult obstacle called life and you are all winning that game in your own ways. Thank you for those who helped us, who helped me the past 18 years.
TODAVÍA RECUERDO EL PRINCIPIO DE MI HISTORIA EN LA PRIMARIA. HABLABA MÁS ESPAÑOL AUE INGLÉS Y FUE DIFÍCIL APRENDER INGLÉS, PERO SI LO PUDE HACER. TODOS PODEMOS SOBREPASAR LO DIFÍCIL SI TENEMOS EL ESFUERZO A SUPERAR. ESTO ES PARA EL ORGULLO LATINO QUE TENEMOS QUE TENER EN ESTE NUEVO MUNDO.
Remember how over 1,000 days ago we were preparing for high school. Our high school stories began and now they are ending. Your stories matter too, so remember that your voice and experience counts. You matter. Thank you for letting me have a part in your story. Look at us, we have a new part of story completed, graduating high school. Congrats to us all. MUCHAS GRACIAS."
This blog has contributions from a variety of faculty and staff at Ogden International.