Seven-hundred and eighty-two students graduated from Robinson Secondary School Thursday morning in the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax.
During the ceremony, several people delivered speeches, including student speaker Ellie Borkowski. Borkowski was one of five finalists selected by a faculty panel who were charged with selecting the student speaker.
Below are excerpts, featured in the commencement program, from the other four finalists.
"To my senior class, I hope that at the end of today we all leave with an appetite for success. We must radiate confidence, while remaining humble. We must be confident in knowing that we can truly, do anything that we set out minds to through determination and hard work, but remain humbled by the fact that there will always be somebody better than us, and fully prepared to bring us down. Take this recipe and use it to push you, to fight for things that you want in order to make your life the best it can possibly be. This is our time to find our inspiration in life, to discover what makes us unique... And to open every door we can find."
"We are Robinson, home of champions, and we seek to not only make ourselves more competent, but to also work toward attaining higher character... We are to put focus to our lives. People interested in the sciences or math can work on combating diseases, or creatively improving people's lives. People fascinated by the arts or music can provoke important discussions and speak for the voiceless to make a change. People passionate about technology can develop ways to provide better access, and we've seen revolutions started in this way. So I hope that we all strive to find our passions and make them worthwhile, with purpose. Because we are James W. Robinson. Home of Champions."
"At the autumn assaults of padded players, our school illuminated the night sky with noise and baby powder. We tested the patience of supervisors, turned our voices hoarse to see a lemon-shaped ball enter the promise land. Our noise can literally sway the metal foundation upon which we stand. We've been on a crescendo, waiting for this fateful day in which we can turn the little piece of string on our head to the other side."
"... In the last four years we each confronted and overcame our own personal fears. Neil Armstrong, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Rosa Parks will continue to be remembered for their achievements, but it is our names that will fill the next generation of history textbooks. It is our names that will be used by future graduation speakers. It is our names that will change the world. Led by bravery and courage, I am confident that we will overcome the inevitable fears that confront us and break through all boundaries and limits to achieve our goals."