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Class President's Speech: 'You All Have Been Leaders to One Another'

Monica Alves, president of the Class of 2012, told her classmates Sunday: "today is not just a celebration of our milestone in education; it is also a celebration of those who have allowed us to begin our journey as adults."

Editor's Note: Monica Alves, president of the Class of 2012, gave the following speech at the Milford High School graduation.

Good afternoon, friends, family members, faculty, administration, and fellow graduates. I am honored to stand before you today and welcome you to the My name is and I stand before you today as an individual of American and Portuguese culture.

Boa tarde, amigos, familiares, professores graduados, administração, e ecompanheiroes. Estou orgulhoza de estar diante de vocês hoje e recebê-loes cerimônia de formatura da classe de Milford High School de 2012. Meu nome é Monica  Carvalho Alves e estou diante de vocês hoje como um indivídual da cultura americana e Português.

There are moments in each of our lives when the future is everything, and to many of us it is what keeps us motivated. To others it’s what keep them alive. But what I have always found interesting about the future is that its definition differs from individual to individual, and the speed at which we wish to accomplish such a future varies even greater.

Our years at have been but a small segment in our race to the future, a race we have been eager to finish. However, as I have gone through my senior year, I have discovered that I may have set a pace too quick for my own good. I have always thought high school was just a speed bump on my way to being an adult, an obstacle in the way of this freedom I had no true perception of. I could not have been more wrong. My days in class, countless hours of extracurricular activities, and loss of sleep may have been the most concrete foundation I could have set for myself. Without even realizing it I have become the person I have always wanted to be. The same goes for every individual about to set foot on this stage.

We take our time in school for granted. We focus too solely on the future that we forget the family, friends, teachers that give us nothing but support. And today, is not just a celebration of our milestone in education; it is also a celebration of those who have allowed us to begin our journey as adults.

In fact, every person we have encounter throughout years as a students has sculpted us one way or another. And while it is impossible to individual thank every person who has ever greeted us in the hallway, or even taken the time to listen to our ideas. I decided to make my speech not a dedication to one person, but rather a dedication to every person sitting in this audience. Our family, friends, and teachers that have been a part of our lives, thank you. Thank you for the friendship and guidance. We would not be where we are today without you.

in indescribable ways. The simple gift of friendship you have handed to each other is something we should never forget. And today as each of you cross this stage remind yourselves that life is not about the finish line but rather the path we are all crossing.

Thank You

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