OP-ED: ‘Take Your Diploma and Let It Mean More Than Just A Piece of Paper’

Editor’s Note: The following is the speech given by Framingham High Class of 2017 President Jordan Ramsay at today’s graduation.


I’ll begin by saying that it is an absolute honor to be speaking in front of you all this afternoon. My greatest experience in high school has been serving as your class president, and I am so lucky to have had your support in doing so. I am very proud of this class, everything we stand for, and the diverse passions we have shared and will discover in the future.

The world changes so quickly. I remember, just like it was yesterday, when Mr. Convery said to us that we would be here in the blink of an eye as we sat at Freshman Orientation: that was true, and the world has changed drastically since. My point isn’t to make the tears start rolling or be grossly cliche, but rather, to include perspective. In just one more blink, the world will be different again: with new technologies, new leaders, new cures, new professions. Still kids at heart, we will be surprised by our role as the new innovators and leaders of the world. We will be responsible for deciding how the world looks for the next group of students sitting just as you are, ready to take on the world we will be giving them. Graduates, today is the day to hit the ground running, because the world won’t slow down for us and we must cement our legacy with energy, haste, and force.

Let’s face it: there were days when we woke up and said we would not make it to graduation. But we did. Take your diploma and let it mean more than just a piece of paper. It is a thank you to all the people who helped you get here. This diploma assures them that there is no limit to our potential; because it is only the beginning. The sky is not the limit, because we belong among the stars.

Inside the walls of FHS, we did not just learn how to make our hands weak from writing too many proofs or analyze Shakespeare, we learned how to stand out in the world around us, to stand up for ourselves, and to stand in for those who needed our strength. We have been offered an incredible wealth of opportunities from the Framingham Public Schools: an impressive selection of AP courses, dedicated staff, and a distinguished education. FHS has allowed us to access our passions, so find yours, and do it exceptionally. We are all together for one last time, and after today, we will go off and make impacts across the world, one person at a time, and one accomplishment at a time. We will go off into the world representing FHS in all of our future adventures.

Take in the experiences you’ve shared with your peers here, and be grateful. There are members of the Class of 2017 who embodied the spirit of Framingham High School and deserve to be sitting on this field today, excited for the years ahead. Through the most unfortunate of circumstances, several students’ lives were taken far too soon as illness did not allow them to reach graduation day. With heavy hearts and grateful souls, we carry their legacy through our memories as we honor their difficult journeys. The point is, we are lucky to be at graduation, live these healthy lives, and get the support and good fortune that has allowed us to make it through. We are here by a combination of our hard work and our blessed circumstances, which is not the case for everyone. There is a special energy here today, an energy that I wish to share with them. You show your accomplishments in your smiles, your unity in your gowns, and the limitless success as you look beyond Bowditch Field. We have been given this gift that not everyone has, so be grateful. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to them to take it forward at the greatest speed possible.

Together, we have created a community of acceptance, diversity, and unity. There is Framingham in your blood and there is Framingham in the tears of joy that we all share together. We are hardship, we are strength, we are determination, we are courage, we are passion, and we are one. We are Framingham. Never stop believing in yourselves, and never stop remembering that there is always home here in Framingham cheering you on every step of the way. Together, as one, we will make our community proud. The time we have shared here is unforgettable, but the moment has come for you to ignite your curiosity and make a mark on the world. The passion that fuels the Class of 2017 — our intellectuals, our leaders, our artists, our athletes, our scientists, our humanitarians, our never-ending list of breathtaking aspirants — is simply unparalleled. Never forget that your peers and community are always one step behind you ready to give you continued confidence and support they always have. Never forget to be humble and kind and be yourself, and never forget that your impact doesn’t have to be bigger than the Earth itself. Smile, say hello, and get ready to change the world. The time is now, so let’s begin. I wish you the best of luck, and I love you all. Thank you, truly, for everything.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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