Caraline Means and MaKenzie Lee addressed the Corsicana High School Class of 2014 Friday, delivering their commencement addresses, which we share for you below.
Caraline Means, valedictorian
I have tried to plan this speech out for the past year. I have written it, and rewritten it, and rewritten it again, but every time I would write a new speech, I couldn’t help but think as I read it to myself that something was missing. And finally, I realized that there was no way I could possibly write a speech that fully captured and reflected my journey through high school and the lessons I learned along the way until I experienced every last moment of it. I literally didn’t write this speech until the night before I had to turn it in. And that night while I was sitting down to write it, that's when it hit me... That's when I realized how much every single moment matters. The person I am right now is not the same person who was attempting to write this speech a year ago, or a month ago, or a week ago, or even the day before I wrote it. And the person I am right now is not going to be the same person I will be a year from now, or a month from now, or a week from now, or even tomorrow. Every single thing you experience, every person you encounter, every sight you see, every word you hear, every emotion you feel, has an impact on you. And as we're constantly experiencing, encountering, seeing, hearing, and feeling, we're constantly and subconsciously evolving into the people that we are going to be. So, all I want to do is point this out: everything you experience from here on out is going to lead you to become who you eventually become.
MaKenzie Lee, Salutatorian
Good evening students, parents, friends, loved ones, administrators and faculty. Although I may be a bit biased, tonight we are celebrating the graduation of Corsicana High School’s finest, the class of 2014. It is of great honor to stand before you tonight as the Salutatorian. Before I recite this somewhat traditional speech, I would like to give my fellow classmates a little insight behind my personal drive and determination as a student athlete and as someone who holds many leadership roles and responsibilities. In general, many people would not place “salutatorian” and “student athlete” in the same category. After researching, I discovered that the last African American Salutatorian was in my mom’s graduating class of 1982. Through countless attempts of her sharing many never ending stories of how the class of 1982 was the best at everything, I used this as my platform to be the next African American to graduate at the top of my class, and guess what? I DID IT! Although this has not been a very small feat, I want to emphasize that perhaps this is the most significant and life-altering achievement that I claim to this day.
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