My father always told me to remember the place where I came from. I, like many of us here today, am from the Boothbay Region, my first and only home. And while not all of us have been here since our first days as students, we’ve found a home in the hallways of Boothbay Region High School. We’ve been nurtured by guiding hands and inspired by brilliant minds. We’ve experienced struggle, faced adversity, and overcome challenges during our time here at BRHS. I can say wholeheartedly that each one of us would not be where we are today without those who sit before us at this moment. Our families, friends, teachers, and community members have shaped our lives for the better in ways we may never know; therefore, to the class of 2018, I ask you to do one thing: remember your roots.
As each of us embarks on our newest adventures, whether it be in college, the workforce, or the armed forces, we will be turning in a new direction, one that we have chosen as the adults we’ve now become. For some of us, these will be our last moments in this town or with these people. For others, our small community will serve as a home in the future --- but we shall never be as we are today ever again in our lives, so remember this day and remember what has come before it.
Together, we each come from a community of hard-working, strong-minded, independent people: from those who wake at four a.m. to put food on the table, to those who work the extra hour to ensure that we have the clothes and school supplies we want. In times of struggle, the people of our region work arduously to help those affected by hardship through fundraisers, community events, and home-cooked meals. We are a wolf pack, willing and ready to give ourselves for the benefit of others. This spirit, this fire, and devotion to our community are embedded in all of us, in all who’ve walked through the doors of blue and gold. Therefore, as we venture into a world undiscovered, we each have the opportunity to remember our small town and all that it’s given to us.
As a child, like many of my classmates, I constantly fantasized about my life beyond the peninsula. I daydreamed about how one day I’d go on to change the world and solve all of humanity’s problems. Ambitious, I know. I didn’t understand that the betterment of the world came in increments, in stepping stones, instead of in giant leaps. I think as a society of youth, we often feel the only way to make change is to change our surroundings, to change our story, from small-town to grand escapade. However, as I relayed my grandiose dreams to my father as a child, he gave me humbling advice: “Lil, start by strengthening your community, help those who have helped your and once you’ve done so, work outwards.”
My father, like myself, was born and raised in Boothbay. He is the most hard-working, most dedicated person I’ve ever met and I believe his spirit and his advice are the same that courses through the veins of everyone in this community. Small but mighty, we are raised on the morals of camaraderie and community, of dedication and promise, or ardor and respect. These values are ones that have been given to us by generations before and that will stay with us forever. As we pass through the doors of Boothbay Region High School for what may be the last time, we as a class must remember what we’ve been given. We must remember how lucky we are to have lived in a place in which community holds such a sacred position. And we must remember the people that have gotten us to where we are today because, without them, we wouldn’t have grown into the incredible, determined, and devoted group of young adults we are today.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 on this very special day and thank you all that have helped each one of us arrive at this moment.