Preface: As the class President, this speech was given at the Sullivan Arena at St. Anselm College in the June of 2009.
’m not lying to you when I say I wrote this speech less than 4 hours ago. I just want to take this time to thank the people that made my dream all possible. We’ve been taught at a young age to dream and dream big, and the only way to follow your dreams was by leading them. Most kids dream of becoming a doctor, a political leader, or a professional athlete. I took that basic list and started narrowing it down, becoming a doctor was not looking too good after the creation of Edline. A political leader was in the mix for a long long time, until I took Mr. Leonard’s economics class. I was counting on the last occupation on my dream list to be eternally happy, a professional athlete. I tried golf, Tiger’s pitching wedge goes farther than my driver, tried soccer..you had to be able to run, not waddle.. tried baseball me and fastballs around the head don’t mix, fell in love with hockey, but every time I go and check someone, I got called for a leg check. That’s when I realized I had to appreciate the opportunities I’m given, and find ways to adapt in situations that seemed not possible.
I never would’ve dreamed of standing before this size of a crowd, giving a graduation speech, as class president, on a day that I will never forget. My dream though entering Trinity was to be accepted for who I am, not for what I stand for, or how tall I stand. By fulfilling my dream it took a big part of understanding from me first, I fulfilled my dream by accepting myself first, before letting anyone else accept me. All of this would not be possible if it wasn’t for my two most amazing parents, my mom’s got the same presence as I do when she walks into a room, everyone seems to love her, and no one love’s her more than her son standing at the podium now. My dad, my rolemodel, my mentor, my bestfriend, thanks for believing in me, and thanks for always loving me, give mom a tissue. Mac and Mitch, no one takes as much pride in all of you’re accomplishments as your brother, keep dreaming and working hard. Michaeli, keep smiling and doing what you do best, being the best sister a brother could ever ask for, for you’re beautiful both inside and out. Roland, thank you for everything you’ve done the past 18 years, you’re like family and networking’s everything. Finally, Matt Anctil, we did it bud! Not many kid’s can say what we can, K-12 and being bestfriends the entire way, you have so many oppurtunites ahead of you, don’t forget the people who meant the most to you, good luck at UMich, represent NH and always know you got a friend in me.
As for the rest of the senior class and teachers and faculty, here’s your shoutout, We did it seniors, I wouldn’t want to share this moment with any other group than the one standing below me on my right and left, anxiously awaiting me to wrap it up so we can make it official. Thank you teachers and faculty for being more than mentors, but being apart of an atmosphere that I would like to consider family for the past four years. Wherever your journey takes you, whoever you meet along the way, may you never forget the people that molded you who you are into today. Good Luck Class of 2009 and congratulations, for I hope to see you all in 5 years, with many stories and laughs to share.
Now let’s make this official, would the seniors please rise… Would you reach and grab your tassel and move it from the right, to the left…Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and family, I’d like to present to you, Manchester, N.H.’s Trinity High School Class of 2009!! (Throw your hat up)
Small Person, Big Heart (Written by Lindsay Johnson submitted with her college application)
The greatest feeling in the world is to know that you will always have someone by your side. When you find that special person who makes an impact on you and your life, you know you will never let them go. My best friend and my hero is a dwarf. He brings out the very best of me every day, and it is truly amazing how one individual can bring such a powerful, positive influence into my life.
I met my hero one day while shopping at a grocery store. He was a cashier and had the longest line in the store. I wondered why it was so long so my mother and I decided to join the line. When it was our turn to check out, we were greeted with the biggest smile ever. He knew just how to brighten up your day with his friendly and sociable personality. We connected in such an amazing way that I felt as if I had known him forever. I knew from that moment, I wanted him to be a part of my life. In my heart, I had a feeling that we were destined to be the best of friends.
Mathew was born with a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia into a family with normal size parents. He is the oldest of four children, he being the only dwarf. He never wanted sympathy and he never considered his size a disability. Even though he shared many stories with me of his childhood and being “made fun of and bullied”, this never stopped him from being proud of who he was and living his life to the fullest. He has always excelled in school, played sports, and participated in everything possible despite his height. He doesn’t want to be treated differently and has put himself out there for the world to see.
My best friend has guided me through my high school years and has taught me valuable lessons that will help me be successful. Most importantly, he has influenced me in being strong and having a positive attitude towards everything. Standing at almost four feet tall, he has the biggest heart, so much confidence, and an encouraging outlook on life. His personality and heart is what makes him fully respected, while his height is truly overlooked. He is a normal human being and takes advantages of all the opportunities that he is given. I look up to him in all that I do and when life has its ups and downs, I think of him, stay strong, and follow my heart just like he does every single day.
Not only has Mathew been a personal inspiration to me, he has been invited to speak in front of crowds of people to share his message. He made me realize that beauty, height, and material things, are not important. He has heard it all through his life being called “wee-man, mini-me, bobble-head, oompa-loompa, elf, and of course the “M” word, midget.” He told me that the name calling doesn’t matter because he knows that he is a terrific person with a big heart, who would do anything for anyone. If he can withstand this and all of the pressure that is put on him each and everyday, why can’t everyone be like this, I thought? That is when it dawned on me. If my best friend can be happy despite all that he has gone through and all that he will face in this lifetime, then that is what I want for me. He has achieved his goals so far in life and there is so much more he wants to do. I believe in him and I respect him for who he is. He has made a significant impact of my life and he truly is my inspiration.
If I had never met this extraordinary person that I call my best friend, I would not be who I am today. He has shown me the world in a whole different perspective. Mathew has been a major influence on me as an individual and my life as a whole. I have learned to live my life to the fullest, never give up, and to remain happy through the good and bad times. Our friendship consists of putting our loving hearts together and lending a helping hand. Not only would he do anything for me, but I would do anything for him. He even asked me to his prom and we had an incredible time, as I danced on my knees with him all night. Our friendship grows closer and closer as the days go by and I know that he will always be a part of my life. He is truly one of a kind and I am so proud to call him my best friend.