Eighth Grade Graduation


Board of Education, Administration, Staff, Parents and Friends:

You have just heard Jessica speak on the last part of our class theme “we must determine where we have been in the past.” My topic is the part of the class theme that says”.. we have to know where are are going.”

On the road to success, it is very important that we know if we are making the right turns in life. You must start at the beginning to get to your goals on the the road to success. You have to set your goals along the way. When setting goals, set ones that are within your reach. “Aim at the sun and you might not reach it, but your arrow will higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.”

In other words, don’t go reaching into space for something that isn’t there. There is nothing wrong with dreams, as long as the goals that you set along the way are reachable. That doesn’t mean you have to set goals that are too easy, or right there in front of you to get without any effort. Examine your capabilities. At times, set your expectations toward hard to reach goals, not just the easy way out. Only then will you fulfill your ambitions. Start thinking about your goals early in life and work toward them throughout high school, BOCES and/or college. Continue to work toward them throughout your life.

When setting and working toward goals, remember your values and be ready for them to be challenged. Former President John F. Kennedy said “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” This means that leadership and learning go hand in hand with each other. Sometimes you have to take charge and lead life where you want it to go. Learn from your mistakes along the way. Accept disappointments that may occur. Have dedication and never lose faith with yourself, regardless of what happens to you.
Disappointments are always presented as obstacles on the road to success, overcome these obstacles and hold your head high while you move forward in life, overcoming them all.


This young lady knew a thing or two about overcoming obstacles already. I was a hard worker that never let adversity get me down. Even though I was dying inside, I kept a bright and cheerful disposition and encouraged others to do the same. People were attracted to my positive personality and by the end of 8th grade, I was elected to be Class President.


As my little class graduated from 8th grade, we had become very close, like a family. When there are only about 30 kids in your class and you have known most of them since Kindergarten, you become like family. And I was a popular member of the family- I got along with all different types of kids. I wasn’t just friends with the athletes or the smart kids, but also the kids that probably didn’t think of themselves as popular back then. It just didn’t matter to me.





The most important thing on my mind as I graduated with my friends was trying to figure out how to get out of this town. The isolation and lack of mirroring were eating away at me. Even though I could encourage others to pursue their dreams, I felt lost. My biggest nightmare was to be stuck in that town forever. Yet it was all I knew. These kids I graduated with, I had known my entire life, yet I somehow felt completely separated from them. I loved my hometown, yet it started feeling like a prison. And I started to secretly count the days until I could escape.




About sjwoods318

Mother of six children - five girls and one boy; wife; community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with my family.
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