J. R. Heckman

Speakers at the Solon High School commencement were selected after auditioning. Here are the thoughts shared with classmates.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by a man who persevered, worked hard, wished upon a star and made his dreams come true. That man happens to be none other than Walt Disney. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Those words are so profound and whether it be musically, athletically or academically, if you can dream it you can do it. I couldn’t paint a better picture of the Solon High School class of 2019 than with these words, because we – the graduating class of 2019 – are on the cusp of achieving our wildest dreams and that because Solon High School has prepared us well, we have the courage to take the leap of faith we need to make those dreams a reality.

Good evening and thank you graduates, Solon Board of Education, administrators, faculty and dear family and friends. Our journey began 1,381 days ago. The day we first walked into Solon High School, Aug. 18, 2015. Worrying about the coming four years, we asked ourselves who will we sit with at lunch, who will our friends be, which teachers will we want for class, which organizations should we be involved in, but most importantly we asked ourselves who will we become during our time at Solon High School and can we live up to all that is expected of us. As this chapter closes we are turning the page, our foundation is set, and now we will go forth to master what we are passionate about in this life. Here are some words of wisdom to live by as you open this next chapter.  

Always remember to give back, serve others. Be grateful and humble along the way. Make sure to tell the people you love, you love them. Count your blessings, stay grounded but have fun. Put forth your maximum effort. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be involved. Make yourself known but always take time for yourself and relax. Remember you can never take back a first impression – everything happens for a reason. I want you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Be fearless in the face of adversity. Fight for your dreams. When someone tells you no, you pick yourself back up and try and try again. Use your creativity and imagination whenever possible. Think outside of the box. Recognize the beauty that surrounds you and the beauty within other people, but most importantly I want you to never lose sight of who you are, where you came from and where you are going.

Class of 2019, I am counting on you to do amazing things, make your mark in life, change the world…because if you can dream it you can do it. Now go show them how a true Comet soars. Thank you.

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