Welcome everyone, I am Vincent Francis and I am glad to see you all here with us today. Going through school felt like crawling out of a hole, or sinking in quicksand even. I had always thought that school was meant to be this way, that I wouldn't get out of this enclosed path of despair and anguish. I thought I had to go through school like everyone else did, struggling just to find my way, until I got to Calaveras Hills. I School went from making me feel like a basket case to something I woke up excited for, something I strived to do. It gave me purpose. I no longer felt like a drone that had to do something that didn't work for me to be successful. When going to Cal hills, I changed for the better and witnessed change amongst my peers as well. I've met new people, people I have come to call family, and I truly wish them the best too.
Those graduating and I have learned how to surpass the hardships within our lives when it comes to school, and no matter how we did it, we got here knowing that facing our responsibilities is definitely worth it. I've beaten depression, cast away my lack of confidence, and found a direction in life I know can work out well. And for those I've met, that I've grown with, I get to witness being here with you all today and I consider that the best of my accomplishments, Ito see others you care about succeeding is truly one of the best feelings you can have. The challenges ahead are still in our way, however we will tackle them the same way we have before. Whether these obstacles are getting into college, finding our true love, or settling into a home or career, we will persist. Together we have challenged the odds and will continue to do so.
All in all, working with this class has taught me many things, but most prominently I have learned the lessons of persistence and hope. We've learned from some of the most inspiring men and women to ever step into the role of teaching, and we truly respect every endeavor they have made to help us get through this journey. Let us rejoice for one final time until we set off, remembering that when you don't give up as a team or as an individual you WILL make an impact strong enough to influence the world around you. II will end this with a quote from the old Chinese Philosopher Confucious: "It does not matter how slowly you 20 so lone as you do not stop." Even if you find yourself snuggling later in your life, remember what you did in those moments at High School that you struck back against the odds and got through it.