Senior Speeches: Charlie Purcell

February 02, 2018


“Writing my speech has reminded me what my parents have given up for me. I will be forever grateful.”

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.

Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.

Charlie Purcell

“Thank you, Coach Kuehl for the introduction.

“You’ve probably heard of the saying ‘you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone.’ I didn’t truly understand what this meant until I left home to come to Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Growing up, my younger brother and I were busy all the time. On weekdays, we had school during the day and some sort of athletic practice at night. It was more of the same on the weekends. I would have a hockey game at 5 a.m., then travel up a local mountain to go skiing and, after all that, play a soccer game in the afternoon. To put it lightly, I was a busy kid growing up, and throughout my journey, my parents were always there for me. They never thought twice and always put my activities and ambitions before their own.

“My dad was my coach from when I was five to after I turned thirteen. He is the person that I look up to the most. During those eight years, we spent almost every night together driving to and from practice. But it was when we were off the field that he taught me the most. He held me accountable whether I liked it or not and would always remain calm in the most tense situations. My dad was the perfect example of hard work and dedication while I was growing up. He would wake up at 5 a.m. every day just so he could get home early enough to spend time with his family. Family always came first for my dad, and I am so grateful for that. I hope to emulate that quality in the future.

“My mom is the most caring and thoughtful person I know. She has been and always will be there for me when I’m at my best and my worst. Every day when I came home from school,  I would walk through the door and my mom would have already made snacks for me and my brother. She would go out of her way to help me out after a tough day. The first time I hopped onto the plane to Shattuck, my mom cried. I thought this would be a one-time thing, but it happens every time. I am grateful because this shows how much she cares for me and will always be my biggest fan.

“Growing up, my younger brother was one my best friends and is the person that I miss the most since leaving home. I miss the days where we would spend hours playing basketball and playing soccer together after school. My brother is one of the funniest and the most genuine people I know, and am so glad I can call him my brother.

“A few months into 2016, my parents made the biggest sacrifice yet: they sent me 3,000 kilometers (yes, that’s for all the Canadians out there) away from home to experience life on my own. My parents gave me an opportunity to chase my dream and let me take a huge step into a new chapter of my life.  

“Writing my speech has reminded me what my parents have given up for me. I will be forever grateful. Thank you, mom and dad, for being there for me for the last seventeen years and making all those sacrifices so I can stand up here today. I know you will always be there by my side when I need you. You are the most amazing and loving parents I could have wished for. I love you both. Thank you.”

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