Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Periodically throughout the 2016-2017 school year, we will share excerpts of those speeches with the SSM community, and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
“I woke up on September 11th of 2001, much like many of the other mornings of my childhood. From what I can remember, this morning was especially exhilarating because it was my first day of Preschool. It was a day full of excitement; my mom took the day off from work to get my brother and me ready for school. At 8:46 in the morning, all of this regularity would change forever as a commercial plane, laden with gas and innocent people, struck the north tower. Within an hour, the south tower would also be attacked and my life, as well as thousands of other people’s, would change forever.
“…Although it is difficult to find a silver lining in this disaster, for me it is the vigorous support system that emerged. No matter what adversity I struggle with in my life, I now know that at home I have family, friends, and a resilient community that will support me and guide me through difficult times.”
- Becca Foggia
“Time. A word so simple but so full of meaning. Everyone can use it to their convenience, as pressure or as hope. As an exit or an escape. I use it all the time, because all those different meanings make me understand that life is short and that minutes are the ones that count to love, to be grateful, to understand, to cry and to forgive.
“It was with time that I learned that not all people should have the same point of view. They should not always come to the same conclusion and think the same way. I admit that there was a moment in my life in which my mentality changed and it was only at that moment that I realized that things go beyond what I believed. Judging and reaching hasty conclusions has its repercussions, and that acting without thinking has its disadvantages.”
- Maria Jose Sevilla Hernandez