Most excellent valedictory address

Training wheels are off and Falcons free to fly

Hargina Birdi and Nate Pierre’s Valedictory address, started with a very important observation:

One thing in particular that stands out about our grade is that slightly more than one third of us have Aboriginal heritage.”

“We are very proud of this fact. Many Aboriginal students struggle academically as a result of the lasting effects of residential school and the assimilation policy. So its quite moving to see all of us here today despite the odds set against us.”

They then acknowledged two very valuable staff “who have significantly contributed to bringing the students together over the past ten years; Irene Antoine and Shirley Pierre maintain a meaningful connection to First Nations Culture for our fellow students. Their dedication to plan and organise, bake and serve bannock every Thursday is not only a treat for us but represents a dedication to an education system that was not always fair to them.

Hargina and Nate presented them each with a bouquet of flowers as a small token of gratitude to honour their work in the school. This presentation was followed by loud applause before Nate continued:

“From cheery breakfast helpers and staff smiling in the hallways, the catch up chats with the custodians at the end of the day, this school has always felt like a safe haven.”

Hargina added some insider humour about certain teachers which made the audience respond with laughter. She continued “All joking aside, no matter how much guidance at our school we get, none of us are perfect and we all continue to make mistakes and we are forced to deal with those consequences on our own.” Then Nate provided a quote by Nikola Tesla:

“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.”

“Our greatest failure can lead to our greatest success. That is only if we will it into reality.”

The two graduates spoke about the resilience of their grade class, how students faced challenges and likened their growth journey to tripping over rocks thrown in their path, falling, but then getting up again to overcome adversity despite not knowing what lies ahead.

“We may have had help along the way, but we ourselves have had the most say in whether or not we succeed.” said Hargina and then she quoted Budha:

“No one saves us but ourselves, no one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

The valedictorians encouraged their fellow students saying “Each person that sits before us carries passion and the ability to succeed. In the years to come we will be able to say that we graduated with future advocates, trailblazers and entrepreneurs.”

Nearing the conclusion of their address they shared one final quote “from the greatest of all time, the GOAT”, Michael Jordan:

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

“The struggles we face and ambition to resolve it on our own helped shape us to be the hard working young adults that we are today, and pushed us towards mastering our individual achievements.

“There is no doubt in our mind that we will go on to do great things.” And it was almost in answer to Mr. Manu Nadhok’s advice to ‘Pay It Forward’ that Hargina and Nate concluded, “It is our hope that those great things we do benefit not only ourselves but those around us as well.”

“We all have the potential to succeed as we have already proven that we can by getting to where we are today.”

– Editor’s note: Thank you Hargina Birdi and Nate Pierre for your wonderfully wise and inspirational words. Congratulations to all 2017 Graduates!

 

Just Posted

Local area D-Day survivor is 100 yrs on Feb. 5

Stewart Ray is “like a cat with 9 lives, except he’s on at least his 3rd set of 9 lives”

WWII Veteran’s 70th year residing in Fort St. James

J.K. Johnson moved here from Calgary in 1947 and never looked back

“Persian Plenty” quilt fit for a queen

Fort St. James quilter Mona French is almost finished building her magnificent… Continue reading

Community Foundation showcases “777 Challenge” trophy

The 777 Challenge is one way to donate to the Fort St.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read