Good evening staff, students, parents, friends and board members. It is truly an honor to speak to you this evening. For those of you who know me, YAAAAA I DID IT!! For those of you who don’t know, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Alondra Meza Camarillo. Five years ago I sat in the same bleachers as you now and watched my older brother Fernando and the class of 2017. I marveled at the incredible accomplishments of these graduates and vowed to likewise. I am proud to say that after long days full of extracurricular activities and AP classes; and even longer nights studying for exams and making sure I was fully prepared for classes the next day… I stand before you tonight as valedictorian, class president and member of the council of students, but especially as a true believer that any dream is achievable if you work hard enough.
This belief is something my parents instilled in me as a child. Mom and dad, we taught me a sonar. Me ensenaron lo que significa luchar para alcanzar mis metas y construir la vida que deseo. Todo lo que he podido lograr se los debo a ustedes. Gracias por sus sacrifices, constant trabajo, y amor incondicional hacia nuestra familia. Taught me lo que es el amor y cómo disfrutar de la vida. Esta es la mejor herencia que me podrían haber dado. Seguiré aplicando sus enseñanzas en cada aspecto de mi vida, por el resto de mi vida. Ustedes his my inspiration. Los amo mucho.
To the mentors, educators and role models in my life, you too have contributed to this belief. Your genuine guidance, passion for what you do and enthusiasm for life are truly inspirational. Know that I’m a better person because of you. Know that I’m ready for the next stage of life and I’m excited for it. Know that I will continue to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes my way as I have your incredible example to guide me wherever I go.
So, mentors, educators, role models, mom, dad, family and friends, this is for you. This is for anyone like me who dreamed of something more. For all those who have ever wondered if it was really possible to make their dreams come true. Well, I stand before you today as a future first-generation student with a full four-year track record at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
If you’re like me and wondering if all your hard work will be worth it; if you’re like me and scared to even try in the first place; or if you are part of the class of 2022 and you are about to venture into the unknown, completely terrified because you have no idea what will happen next, listen carefully: Good! You are in the right place. This fear will get you where you need to be. Because greatness doesn’t blossom in comfort. Greatness flourishes in times when we don’t feel like pushing any further but end up doing it anyway. I wish you the strength to be 100% authentically you. Because the world desperately needs you to be yourself. Make it your life’s purpose to discover who you are. Do not pursue money, career or even happiness. Find out who you are supposed to be. Value your talents, your strengths, your skills and your desires because they were given to you for a very specific reason. Use them well and know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.
So after that you might be a musician, welder, doctor, teacher, farmer, lawyer or mom or dad. But arguably the most important thing you will become in your life will be a parent. Because there would be no musicians, welders, doctors, teachers, farmers, lawyers, or even valedictorians without parents. So if you ever become a parent, teach your kids that they can be anything they want as long as they work hard for it. Because who knows? Maybe they’ll end up where I am today. And that’s pretty cool. I wish you the best. Thanks.