Law grads ‘a bril­liant group of minds’

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pam McLough­lin

MIL­FORD — Jonathan Law High School class pres­i­dent Jor­dan Beck told fel­low grad­u­ates at com­mence­ment Wed­nes­day to “em­brace the new adult in the mir­ror and un­der­stand that you can­not be dis­tinct un­til you ex­pe­ri­ence fail­ure.”

Beck said it is “poignant to think that we en­tered Law as an eclec­tic band of fresh­men and will leave as a bril­liant group of minds with a range of amaz­ing qual­i­ties.”

He said each stu­dent wrote their own guides to cop­ing with the tur­bu­lence of high school — the sud­den in­de­pen­dence — and there’s value in that unique­ness and in the abil­ity of hu­mans to adapt.

Vale­dic­to­rian Ore­oluwatomiwa (Ore) Opayemi, said, “Thank you,” to all who helped the grads get where they are, say­ing a motto he lives by is, “No one ever gets where they are by them­selves.”

She said stu­dents should rec­og­nize that every­one they’ve en­coun­tered in life — good or bad — has helped them get to the day of grad­u­a­tion.

“Whether it’s par­ents, teach­ers, the third-grade bully, or the cus­to­di­ans in our schools, each has contributed one way or an­other to the bet­ter­ment of our lives, mak­ing us who we are now,” Opayemi said.

Opayemi thanked God for all she’s ac­com­plished, and said stu­dents should thank their par­ents for all they’ve done in help­ing them get this far.

She im­plored class­mates to be­come the kind of peo­ple oth­ers want to thank.

“We must try to show kind­ness and com­pas­sion to those we in­ter­act with. We must be will­ing to give more of our­selves so oth­ers can ben­e­fit; this could oc­cur through vol­un­teer­ing our time at the lo­cal food bank, or just sit­ting with a lonely per­son at lunch,” she said.

Sa­lu­ta­to­rian GraceAnne Piselli said af­ter tak­ing ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties in high school, she has found what she truly wants out of life.

“Each pas­sion is unique and ad­mirable, and has put each of us on our own paths which we will be­gin walk­ing once we grad­u­ate,” she said. “These paths will vary. Some will con­tain ex­ten­sive de­tours which can al­ter or lengthen our jour­ney. Other paths will be smooth and ef­fort­less, lead­ing some of us to achieve our goals rather quickly. But, no mat­ter the path we travel, we must re­mem­ber to per­se­vere and trust the process.”

She said she and fel­low grad­u­ates are part of a gen­er­a­tion that is “an agent of change.”

“We have grown up in an age where we face weekly tragedies, tu­mul­tuous lead­ers, and growing so­cial and po­lit­i­cal po­lar­iza­tion,” Piselli said. “Af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing these is­sues for so long, our peers have gath­ered the courage to stand up and make changes to im­prove our world.”

She urged that as young adults class­mates “take ad­van­tage of our power; we must har­ness our pas­sions, and use them to cause ma­jor world shifts.

She quoted Ma­hatma Gandhi said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to be­gin with chil­dren.”

Cather­ine Aval­one / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Ron­nie Span­gler raises his arms up when his name is called to re­ceive his diploma Wed­nes­day.

Cather­ine Aval­one / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

John Fowler, Priya Gupta, sa­lu­ta­to­rian GraceAnne Piselli and vale­dic­to­rian Ore­oluwatomiwa Opayemi throw their caps in the air at Jonathan Law High School grad­u­a­tion Wed­nes­day in Mil­ford.

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