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Tech High valedictorian Bethany Magner's graduation speech

July 21, 2013

The following is the text of the graduation speech that Washington County Technical High School Valedictorian Bethany Magner wanted to give at Tech High’s commencement:


Abraham Lincoln once said, “I believe that people should fight for what they believe and only what they believe.”

Belief comes in many forms; in religion, school, sports, and just everyday life we all believe in something. Whether it’s that you’re going to pass your next test, or that your team will win the World Series, belief is what drives us to have faith and trust. Without belief, no one would accomplish anything.

How did America break away from Great Britain? How did women get the right to vote? How did technology and medicine become so advanced? It all started with one simple premise: belief.

American colonists believed they could be free, women believed that they were equal to men, and scientists and inventors believed in a better society.

“All things are possible to him who believes,” the scriptures say in Mark 9:23.

Today, we need to believe that we will go out into this world and change it for the better! We must be the best we can be and show everyone that no matter what life throws at us, we can overcome it.

Today is our day to shine and become positive individuals in the lives of our loved ones. I believe that this generation that we are a part of will make a difference! Just within our class, we have future female doctors, male nurses, female police officers, and female mechanics. Let’s show society that there is no such thing as jobs just for females, or just for males; we are equal and can be great no matter what we do.

The times are changing and we must believe in the change. And today is the beginning of that change. I believe that our class alone can make a huge difference in our community and we can contribute greatly to the changes.

So let’s fight for what we believe in like Abraham Lincoln tells us to do. Let’s win the battle of life and show this world what we’re made of! Let’s accomplish the impossible!

Some of us are going to college. Believe you can ignore temptations and excel in your courses. Some of us are entering the workforce. Believe you can go forward and be the best you can be. Some of us may not know what our futures hold. Believe that everything happens for a reason and you will find your reason in life.

No matter what, we all must believe in ourselves and in others around us. Without a simple factor like belief, accomplishing what we want is impossible and we will go nowhere in our lives.

From the time we were little, we believed, whether it was made-up beings, such as Santa or the Tooth Fairy, or if it was that things will be better, we had something to believe in. It’s born into us and we must continue to believe into adulthood.

So, l will leave you with a quote from an author who was present in most of our childhoods, Dr. Seuss: “You’re off to Great Places; Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

Thank You.

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