• 79°

Class challenged to make dream reality

Editor’s note: The DAILY LEADER is continuing to publishvaledictorian and salutatorian speeches given during recent highschool graduations. Today’s address is from Nathaniel Weathersby,Enterprise Attendance Center salutatorian.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. In the yearsfollowing, through much execution, that dream became a reality.Eight years earlier a man by the name of Walt Disney acted upon hisdream to create a world where everyone’s dreams could become areality.

Faculty, friends and family members, I welcome and call upon youon this 20th day of May to issue forth a challenge or dare, if Imay, onto the Graduating Class of 2010. Colleagues and classmates,I dare you to search deep inside yourselves and find that one dreamthat has the potential to change the world and its inhabitantsforever. Look toward people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., andWalt Disney as inspiration in your journey to find your place inthis world where that dream can be nourished and grown to its fullpotential.

Beyond these walls lies a canvas that awaits our talents totransform its emptiness into a masterpiece that surpasses that ofthe likes of Van Gogh and Da Vinci. All that we need to make ourmark on the world is to locate that dream, believe in it, and worklike never before to make it come true. For the future trulybelongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Unfortunately, this task cannot be completed as easily as said.There will always be those who doubt you and try to tear throughyour aspirations until there is nothing left. There are two thingswe must watch for and avoid in the world awaiting us: hatred andignorance.

The world is growing ever so abundant of “haters” who,obviously, hate to see someone other than themselves becomesuccessful. Our job now is not to become a “hater” but the nextgeneration of the hated. I believe Eleanor Roosevelt said it bestwhen she said, “No one can make you feel inferior without yourconsent.” Meaning not a single soul in this entire world holds thepower to make you feel like you cannot accomplish the things youhave set before yourself.

Second, you must watch out for ignorance. For some reason, therenever seems to be a shortage of ignorance. The advice I have foryou when dealing with this enemy was best summed up by one of themost intelligent and influential teachers I have had the honor toknow. From the always-cluttered desk of Jason D. Frazier, “Thereare many people in the world who are filled with stupidity, and itis the job of the non-stupid to sift through that and realize thepotential in everyone.” Do not let the ignorance of the worlddiscern how you live your life and what you choose to do with yourdreams.

Thanks go out to God and the parents foremost of all becausewithout you, we would not be, or much less at this great point inour lives. Then to the teachers, there is no amount of gratitudethat can be issued to you for all those years of whining,complaining and horse playing that you have put up with. Whether itwas the countless number of Mrs. Bayless’ “conversations” or CoachKnight’s alarming but ever so humorous outbursts of his failedpatience, you have all, in some way, experienced “The Class of2010” and lived to tell about it. And last, to all my close friendsthat sit behind me tonight: we have seen each other in our besttimes and worst times and I hope that we will remain this close towitness more of those times in the future. Thank you all for beingthat network of support, strength and everlasting humor that everyteenager needs in his or her life.

As we leave to continue our lives in this world, let’s allremember Paige Chemin and the happiness she brought to our class.She is now in a better place and I am sure that she knows that shewas loved and cherished by everyone who had the pleasure to knowher. Rest forever in peace, Paige Chemin.

Again, I thank all of you, my audience, for remaining attentivethrough my salute and coming to show your support for theGraduating Class of 2010. Finally, my fellow graduates, I leave butthree words: Go. Do. Excel.

Nathaniel Weathersby is the son of Charles and ThelmaWeathersby.