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Enterprise seniors ready for next step

Editor’s Note: Today, The Daily Leader continues publication of area high school valedictorian and salutatorian graduation speeches. The following address is from Enterprise Attendance Center Salutatorian Braxton Foster.

Welcome all family members, faculty, staff, distinguished guests, and most importantly, my fellow graduates.

I would like to begin by thanking everyone for being here to share the final moments of our senior year and the first moments of the next stage of our lives. I also want to thank Mrs. Chapman for the foundation she laid for me when this journey began. Oh, and for teaching me to tie my shoes.

My mama and nana encouraged me to always do my best and be at the top of my class. However, they conveniently left out the part that I had to write a speech to present tonight.

You see, I am not the type of person who enjoys the spotlight or enjoys standing before a crowd speaking. I seriously thought, what happens if I just don’t write it, but when I voiced my thoughts out loud I was ambushed. I was told that I did not have a choice in whether or not to write a speech.

I began to reflect upon the experiences that we all have shared as high school seniors. Mrs. Brumfield said it best when she quoted, “It seems like only yesterday that we were taking our first academic steps by entering kindergarten, and now we are able to run into the world with our minds full of knowledge.”

Thirteen years ago, we began this journey that ends tonight. Some of us started that journey right here at Enterprise. Others we found along the way, and some we’ve lost along the way.

Together we’ve worked and played hard. It has been a long journey to reach this step in our lives, but together, we have done it.

For the past year we have been faced with the task of deciding, or at the very least, considering, what we want to be for the rest of our lives. Some of us know, some of us think we know and others are undecided right now.

So I say do what makes you happy and trust in God to lead you in the right direction, even if it means disappointing someone else. In Joshua 1:9 God commands us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with us wherever we go.”

As we have matured throughout high school, I think, as a class, we have become accepting of the different interests of our classmates. Of course, we have all had our moments of thinking either to ourselves or out loud, “Why would they do that?” or “That’s a dumb idea.”

Looking back, I realize that the classmates we asked those questions about may simply have been following their passion despite the doubts of others. Instead of second guessing others, it’s time to simply wish one another good luck in whatever we choose to pursue.

If you have no idea what you want to pursue, try it all! Don’t just settle for the easiest path or the job that makes the most money. As Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” I believe this sums up the next step of our lives.

We have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people that followed their passion and listened to their heart here at Enterprise. We all had teachers and coaches who inspired us. I am sure many of us have parents and family members that have followed their instincts to pursue a passion.

I think we can all find that one great example that can inspire us to trust in ourselves and follow our passion. If not, remember what Coach Cass Brister always says, “Take the bull by the horns.”

Don’t let that quote fool you, Cass is the sweetest guy I know.

As we end here, we will leave Enterprise, but Enterprise will never leave us. Bring the same pride, the same enthusiasm, the same heart each of you has brought to our class in whatever you do.

You have the power to do amazing things; this school, this community, this class has instilled that power in you.

Whether you’re on the playing field, the battlefield, in the classroom, or in the office, make yourselves proud, make each other proud, make your friends and family proud, and most of all, make Enterprise proud.

Well it’s time to wrap this up. I can already hear my daddy saying, “Son! Did you have to speak so long?” Mrs. Bayless’ second period class knows how waiting feels because we were always “waiting on Mandy.”

I leave you with this quote by Mr. Eubanks, “Wherever you go in life, whatever you do, remember there is a reason and purpose to your life. You may not always understand, and you may not see the destination, but often the journey is what is most important.”

Wherever you decide to go, no matter what direction you choose, never forget that we are the Enterprise Class of 2013, and we are ready for the next step. Thank you!