Graduates challenged to overcome obstacles

Published 6:14 pm Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Today, The DAILY LEADER continues its publication ofvaledictorian and salutatorian speeches from the Class of 2011.Today’s address is from Georgia Bowlin, Wesson Attendance Centersalutatorian.

    Good evening, fellow graduates, faculty, friends and family. Istand before you tonight faced with the difficult task of sayingfarewell to the friends I have grown to know and love over the past13 years. My only hope is that you will find encouragement andmeaning in these few words of wisdoms.

    From the moment we take our first steps, life becomes anever-ending collection of small and great steps, a series of goodand often bad choices. My favorite Bible verse, First Corinthians13:13, states “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.But the greatest of these is love.”

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    Class of 2011, I challenge you to choose a life of love. Findsomething you love to do and do it with all your heart. Surroundyourself with those that love you enough to tell you when you’rewrong. Love others, and never forget to love yourself.

    We all have fears that will keep us from reaching our fullpotential if we allow them to, fears such as applying to auniversity, going on a first date or giving a speech at your highschool graduation, but you must never fear failure. Failure isinevitable, it is what you learn from failing that determineswhether you succeed or not.

    Michael Dell of Dell computers once said, “Don’t spend too muchtime trying to choose the perfect opportunity that you miss out onthe right opportunity. Recognize that there will be failures, andacknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn frommistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very littlelearning in success.” Life’s not about how many times you fall.It’s about how many times you get back up. Do not be ashamed ofyour mistakes; learn from them and laugh at them.

    Finally, I would like to extend the most sincere thank you to everyparent, teacher, family member and friend that has helped push ustoward this night. We never would have made it without you. Classof 2011, my friends, if you don’t mind, I’d rather not say goodbye.I’ll simply say, until we meet again, I wish you the very best lifehas to offer. My hope is that you will live your life with faith inyourself, hope in the future and love in your heart. Graduatingclass of 2011, congratulations, we made it!

    Georgia Bowlin is the daughter of Paul and JuliaBowlin.