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LVR Valedictorian Mikaiya Austin — Opportunities for success in this room are endless

By Contributor
June 12th, 2012

The Class of 2012 at L.V. Rogers culminated their high school career this past weekend with graduation ceremonies.

During the Cap and Gown Friday at the NDCC Arena, LVR Valedictorian Mikaiya Austin spoke on behalf of the grads.

Here is a copy of her address to the sellout crowd.


To begin my speech this evening, I would like to quote the greatest philosopher of all time…. Dr. Seuss.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go!”

My Mom and Dad have always told me that money isn’t everything.

Money isn’t what makes you happy, and of course, in the words of

John Lennon, “money can’t buy you love.”!!

This advice has come to be useful and somewhat of a guide to me during graduation preparation, and planning my life after grad.

Choosing college courses, assessing university options, researching careers, and really just having to worry about what the future should hold for me is a very new experience.

It is one that we all share.

We are all in the same place right now; we are all passing over the same milestone, passing by the same road signs. The difference is the names of those roads.

Some of the road signs may be blurry, the words ineligible, and others may have so many words squished on one sign that it is impossible to read from the position we are standing in.

The road we follow should be the sign that is decorated with the most fireworks, sunshine, and thumbs up as possible. In short, the one that gives us the most joy.

This road will be bumpy at times, it will be steep, and perhaps it will be narrow, but if we truly love the things we are doing while traveling this road, we have chosen the right one.

Many of us will be tempted to take the high road, the one littered with dollar signs. I mean I would never say no to having unlimited shoes and boots . . . (I blame my Grandma for that one!)

Let’s be sure that while we are working for the boots, we still see fireworks.

The opportunities for success in this room are endless.

Look around grads, sitting beside you may very well be the next prime minister, nurse, NHL star, pre-school teacher, architect, pilot, big city lawyer, chef, or there may be the next Mr. Hutteman, although I don’t think there is anyone in our class quite that tall!

Not even you Connor! And, those are some pretty big shoes to fill.

As we all stand here, passing the milestone to our future, it is be easy to feel as though we ought to leave the past behind and only move forward.

As important as pursuing our road is, let us not forget those experiences and people who have brought us to this crossroad.

We are the first Grad class graduating a full four years from LVR. Don’t you all remember the days in Grade 9 when the boy’s skinny jeans were tighter than the girl’s?

Hard to forget, I know!

The teachers, the parents, the friends, the acquaintances, the activities, the classes, (and I suppose the actual school work), have impacted us all in uncountable ways. They are different for each of us.

These lessons learned, and advice-received, no matter good or bad, are pieces of knowledge that we cannot forget to take with us as we travel our own roads.

I know it seems like I am telling you all this without ever having experienced it myself, and you are right. But I do know, thanks to my family and the values we share, how amazing life can be if you are truly living for what you love.

So grads of 2012, if the only inspiration I can provide for us, on this greatly anticipated day, is to find a road that you are passionate to travel along, then Dr. Seuss has taught me well!

And if you ever find a road sign covered in fireworks, sunshine, and thumbs up, please let me know!

That’s my road!!!

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