Maxine O’Leary, Cowichan Secondary

Since they were unable to make their speeches in front of all of their classmates, friends and family, we asked valedictorians — and one class historian — from south Island schools to share them with us. This is an excerpt from one of the submissions.

Maxine O’Leary, valedictorian, Cowichan Secondary, Duncan

Next year: Studying communication studies and playing rugby at Concordia University in Montreal. However, at least the first semester of classes will be done from home.

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The future is so uncertain and I know that’s terrifying to a lot of us,

Next year was going to be the start of the rest of our lives,

Some of us would have moved away to college,

Some of us would have left to travel the world,

And some of us would have started careers.

We may never get to experience a traditional high school graduation, but I know

that this year will only make us stronger and we will get through it together.

We have to always work together, no one is ever alone, the world has shown its

true colours over the past few years and it’s our turn to make a difference.

As president Obama said: “No generation has been better positioned to be warriors

for justice and remake the world.”

We must always do what’s right

“Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy — that’s how little kids

think. Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grown-ups, including some with fancy titles

and important jobs, still think that way — which is why things are so screwed up.”

I want each and every one of you to live every day to its fullest, we are so

honoured and privileged to be able to live the way we do.

We are so lucky to be healthy and safe in a world of utter turmoil and we must

remember to always stay positive and to love and respect each and every person on

this planet equally.

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