Summer graduation speeches – Dennis Birks and Alexis Maldonado

Summer graduation speeches – Dennis Birks and Alexis Maldonado

There is no one way.  The way is any way that works, and the more ways you have the more successful you’ll be, and here you are today.  Successful. You’ve found ways that work for you to be graduates and receive your high school diplomas.  I’m incredibly proud of you and I hope you’re proud of yourselves. I know it wasn’t easy road, but you’ve arrived to your destination.


Along the way you were given support and guidance by people who love and care for you the most, which shouldn’t go unnoticed.  Those people are your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, coaches, nurses, custodians and cafeteria workers.  These are the people who are here for you, the whole way, from pre K to today.  Those people should always be recognized, remembered, and respected.


As important as those supports are, most importantly you had to put in the work.  You made the decision to come to school, you paid attention in class, you studied you did your homework and you passed the necessary assessments to graduate.


You’ve committed yourselves to make your  lives and the lives of those around you better.  Your determined, self disciplined, persistent, intelligent and strong.  This is who you are.  This won’t be the last goal you set for yourself there will be many others throughout your lives and not all of them will be easy to obtain.  There will be obstacles.  So always remember today, let your diploma be a reminder of who you are and you will always be successful, and if ever you feel you can’t find a way.  Make your own.  Graduates I wish you peace, love and happiness.  Congratulations.

By Dennis Birks

On behalf of all the Holyoke High School Seniors , we thank everyone that has helped us through it all: through the good moments and through the bad ones…. But we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the hard work and commitment you have shown.


Special thanks to some of the people who have been there with me through it all; for example, ( my girlfriend) Natalia and her amazing family,   Kilo, Nate, Gabe, Klow, Franky my foes and some of my favorite teachers like Mr. Bechard, Mr. Velez, Mrs. Trial somewhere in Peck, but most importantly Mrs. Horton, who has never ever given up on me even though I was always in her office asking her what I needed to do to graduate on time. As you can see that did not work, but I am here today with a cap and gown on this stage sharing what it is to be successful.


Everyone has their own opinion on what success can be, but success in my eyes is to achieve a personal goal, something that you have committed to doing day and night in order to achieve it or to have success in it. You can succeed in every aspect of life, sports, education, relationships and career’s, all you need is a goal mindset, expand your mind, try new things, overcome your barrier and succeed in your own way. As Ms. Berger says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.


By Alexis Maldonado