Skip to main content
Neighborhood
West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jun. 3, 2020 8 months ago

Olympia High School valedictorian's speech: Ryan Tassi

Share
I’m so inspired by the future leaders, innovators and reformers who have triumphed over the unthinkable.

By Ryan Tassi

Hello, Class of 2020, my fellow classmates, now graduates. I’m Ryan Tassi, as some of you may already know. Happy graduation, and thank you for allowing me to speak to you today! Oh wait, I think I have to speak a bit more. Let’s begin by giving each other a round of applause for all we have accomplished. And let’s take a moment to thank all the people who have impacted our lives by putting in countless hours of dedication and devotion including — but not limited — to Dr. Swenson, our friends and families, and all of our teachers and staff. All I have to say is wow, look how far we’ve come! And although this is something you’d hear at a typical graduation, this year is anything but typical. 

I’d like to address the situation at hand that caused our class to miss out on some of the most memorable experiences seniors take with them: Senior prom, walkout, GradBash … the list can go on and on. It is truly unfortunate to think of everything we missed out on. 

You’d think that being the Class of 2020 — the Class of perfect vision — we would have seen this coming, but we didn’t. Who would have thought we would end our senior year in quarantine? Living through the only pandemic we’ll see in our lives (fingers crossed). 

However, adversity yields resilience. Challenges make us adapt, acclimate and evolve in ways we never thought possible. This experience has brought me so much hope for this class, for all the things we can accomplish in our future together. 

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” I believe this is an embodiment of our class, as we have had the strength to overcome digital learning and quarantine. I’m so inspired by the future leaders, innovators and reformers who have triumphed over the unthinkable. Congratulations again, Class of 2020! Thank you!

Related Stories

Advertisement