Good afternoon, friends, staff, to all the people watching us from home and the class of ’21!
My name is Mughees Nasar, or as many as you know me by, Mugs.
Since this is the closest I will ever get to an Oscar speech, bear with me as I pour my heart out.
To start off, I want to take a moment to thank the staff, from Mrs. Castelino and all the math crimes she put up with, to Mrs. Scott-Wilkes and her chemistry memes, and to Mrs. Dube for getting arrested mid-class, that was quite the experience.
But I also want to take this moment to thank the staff at this school that often go unnoticed, from our wonderful janitorial staff to our various tech supports, to our front desk staff, and to our fantastic teaching assistants.
You guys are silent heroes and make it possible for this school to run.
To each and every staff member here, thank you is a small word, but I speak for my entire class when I say that we would not be here without you.
But enough about them, let’s talk about us.
Well, graduates, we did it; as a group, we started from the bottom, and now we are indeed here.
I mean quite literally the bottom.
I was like 3-foot-8 when I first started school.
You know, when writing this, I tried looking up lots of motivational quotes, and one that popped up was the “world is your oyster”, but that’s too deep for me to understand, so I’m just going to stick to my own words.
If this year has shown us anything, it’s that life is unpredictable and that life is tough.
There will be ups and tons of downs. However, as this year has shown us, we are resilient.
All of us worked extremely hard this year.
I mean, waking up logging into our google meets, turning off our mics and cameras and then falling back asleep takes a significant amount of work and dedication.
But all jokes aside, if I can leave with you any last words, it’s these.
And it’s a personal story, actually. Roughly 40 years ago, a man in a small village in Pakistan walked miles to school every day.
That same man left his family and everything he knew behind for higher education.
Today that man has a Ph.D. and watches his son graduate as a valedictorian.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of education.
As we sit here today, we are not only graduates, but we are the future.
We are your future doctors, engineers, lawyers, technicians, politicians, businessmen, and women.
So as we graduate today, I hope that all of us here can work towards a future we are proud of; a future of tolerance, acceptance and peace.
So that way, 20 to 30 years down the line, when we watch our kids stand on this stage and graduate, we can be proud of the world they are about to enter.
But that’s all I have to say for now.
Thank you again, everyone, to the staff, and to this fantastic group of people I’ve known for the past four years.
And last but not least, to all the parents and families watching, we hope we can make you proud.
And for all of those wondering what I would do if I didn’t graduate; I guess we’ll never know.