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Crisp County High Class of 2018 graduates: Valedictorian Address

Photo submitted by Carla Whitley
Recent graduate and former Crisp County basketball guard, Trey Griffin leans out for a photo during the graduation ceremony on Friday, May 25.

Photo submitted by Carla Whitley
Crisp County High School class of 2018 graduated on Friday, May 25. Students threw their caps immediately after the ceremony.

By Carley Yawn

Crisp County High School

Crisp County High School Valedictorian, Carley Yawn

“Always Have Faith in Tomorrow”

Two-thousand three hundred forty yesterdays of school and most of us have just signed ourselves up for at least another seven hundred twenty tomorrows. Needless to say, we have made it to today, marking the culmination of our two-thousand three hundred forty-day journey, and I am proud to say that WE ARE THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2018!

The first thing I would like to say, of course, is “thank you.” Not only has Crisp County High given me this extraordinary honor to represent my class, but in preparation for my commencement address, I have deeply reflected upon myself and the meaningful memories I have made during my short 18 years. I am humble and grateful for the people that love and support me. Thank you for your faith in me.

I made a promise to myself to make this speech as raw as possible. Each of us can recall times when we were forced to face unimaginable burdens: whether someone lacked faith in our abilities, confidence in our convictions, or belief in our dreams. These adversities ignited an incessant drive within each of us and forged a fierce loyalty among us as a class. Thank you to every teacher who had our backs, every parent who cheered us on, everyone who never lost faith. You instilled in us a tremendous fire, a passion for life, and a desire to make the world a better place. Thank you for having faith in our tomorrow.

Thank you, Mama and Daddy, for teaching me to be stubborn. I know I got a double dose of that. Thank you for teaching me to value a hard work ethic. I am grateful you taught me to work hard for everything I want, for this world doesn’t owe us a thing, and nothing worth having ever comes easy.

Class of 2018, I pray that your incessant drive to succeed only continues from here. For, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Have faith in yourselves. The dreams of our future may not come true as easily or as quickly as we want. But it is imperative that we have faith and trust in God’s timing. With power and conviction, it’s possible. Anything’s possible.

Our lives will hold many surprises for us, but I am sure that we will approach challenges with the same boldness with which we tackle today. When I look at you, I see friends who have become my family. I see tomorrow’s great leaders rising up. I see you contributing to the fabric of our future in some way. So when looking at the bright horizon that is our future, I am happy, for you give me faith in tomorrow.

We are Crisp County Cougars – how sweet it is! We know there’s nothing like being a Cougar on a Friday night and, I think we can all agree, this is the best Friday yet. So thank you and God bless each one of you in your journey and all of your tomorrows.