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Fitch Graduation Speech Contest Winner, Nanayaa Asantewaa Ali

Hi, my name is Nanayaa Asantewaa Ali, most of you may know me as Nana and honestly I never thought we would get here so fast. I remember being in Middle school and watching shows like "High School Musical" or "That’s So Raven" and expecting high school to be just like that, I was so excited. I got to tell you I was a little disappointed when we didn’t all join in song and dance in the middle of the hallway. But even though it wasn’t how many of us expected High School to be in my opinion it was better than what we expected.

I had some of the most cherishable moments in this school and in this community and to me those memories are more valuable than anything imaginable. I joined my first sports team in this school, had my first real bonds and connections in this school, and always felt welcomed and supported in this school.

This school taught me what true compassion is, it taught me to be more confident in myself. I was never this bold, people in my past never saw me as the girl who would be able to stand up and speak to a crowd full of graduates and their family members, but when I joined this school I slowly broke out of my shell and became the young woman you see before you today.

As I look at this class I don’t just see a bunch of teens graduating, I see a bunch of young adults heading into the world to be achievers and fighters and I didn’t just see that today I saw that during this whole year of struggles. I saw this class be able to push past the negative and make a positive. I saw this class come here today with heads held high to graduate, and that’s makes every single one of you an individual who achieves, believes and cares. You should be proud to be here today. After all the hurdles each of you have been through in your life you still made it here today and you should be prouder than anyone. I wish everyone of you the best as we move on with our futures and nothing but happiness and love in your lives. And remember this saying “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." -Malcolm X

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