Hi, I’m Emily. I am honored to have the privilege of representing the relentless Class of 2022.

I’d like to thank everyone in attendance tonight and all of those who have supported these students along this treacherous journey that we like to call school. Another year, finally over yet again. But things are a little different this time. We won’t be returning to this campus as high school students, but as graduates. Mandatory school is forever behind us. We carry our memories of these classrooms with us forever. A lot of us won’t see each other anymore, and some of us have made life long friends here. We’ve experienced loss of friendship, loved ones, and at some points we’ve lost ourselves. We even survived a global pandemic. It’s a little difficult to speak on behalf of my peers, as we all have different backgrounds and different reasons why we’re here today. For myself, I screwed up. I attended Santa Monica High School for three years, and while I made new friends and had some great times, I was struggling. There was much more than just school on my mind. I couldn’t focus, I was constantly questioning life, my passions, and values. I was questioning who I was, and if there was anything I was actually looking forward to. As all my peers excelled, I was failing most of my classes. I isolated myself from even my closest friends. I was embarrassed of my character. After time and time again, retaking classes and a never ending school year with every summer taken by summer school. Olympic High School was my last chance. I was afraid, terrified that I was simply a failure. I felt that my life had been already thrown away. Unexpectedly, attending Olympic has changed my life. This has been the best year of high school I’ve had. From my very first day, I was greeted with a smile. No one here has every doubted me or my abilities.

I’d like to thank the entire Olympic staff. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for your care and concern for these students. You’ve given us a second chance—an opportunity to feel confident in ourselves and be proud of our work. You’ve helped us realize what we are capable of and have empowered us to strive for only our greatest endeavors. Thank you, Mr. Anderson: You’re the first person I see when I arrive at school and the last when I leave. Your sense of humor and kindness has a significant impact. Thank you, Patty: Your inviting smile every morning makes my day immediately so much brighter. Thank you, Maria: We appreciate your diligence and your efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you, Mr. Daglis, for valuing your students interests, and for showing students our endless opportunities. Thank you, Mr. Arnold: Your exceptional connection with students has made the classroom all the more enjoyable. Thank you, Ms. Siemer, for your meticulous attention to each and every student and their needs and your drive to ensure our success. Thank you, Ms. Diane, for your reliability and efforts to assist students any time, and for being so pleasant to talk to. And finally, thank you, Mr. Fuller. Your humanity towards students and our education is unmatched. Your work here at Olympic has been exceptional, I have never experienced such a loving group of individuals who have tirelessly cared so much for our futures and well being.

But even with endless support, it’s important to remember that we are responsible for our own excellence. You have to live with the consequences of your choices. Do not sacrifice your decisions for someone else’s happiness. Do not sacrifice your dreams and aspirations because of uncertainty. It’s too easy to lose yourself. Failure knows no bounds. It can happen to anyone at anytime. You can fail at something you don’t even like, so you might as well take a chance and just try doing what you truly love. Don’t let your dreams only be that. Your reality is important. Your life is important. On behalf of these students, I’d like to say that we’re honored to have attended Olympic High School. Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2022.

— Emily Gomez, 

Class of 2022