Sabrina Paulino was the student speaker at the Below is the full text of her speech.
First I would like to thank Mrs. Wollin, members of the board, Dr. Hochman, Dr. Adelberg, Mrs.Schamberg, Mr.Davidson and other honored guest for this awesome opportunity.
En segundo lugar me gustaría dar las gracias a mi mama y mi familia por el amor y compasión que me han dado todo estos años.
Second I would like to thank my mom and family for all the love and compassion they’ve had towards me through out the years.
And now to my fellow classmates.
Do you guys remember you’re moving up ceremony in elementary school? I know everyone from MKES remembers our performance at the end of the year. I—like everyone else—was super excited to finally get to sing the 5th grade part of our own version of "It’s Not Easy," from Pete's Dragon.
What about our middle school moving up ceremony? With our fancy dresses or button downs and our not so nice weather for the girls! So what makes this ceremony so different? I'll tell you right now. This ceremony is different because it’s the end of our teenage years but the start of our time in the adult world. It’s the one ceremony we know everything has come to an end—not for the worse, but for the better.
You know, it’s funny—at the beginning of the year I took Mr. Heller’s public speaking class. The class was full of people that I knew, but never in my life at high school had talked to, so of course I was nervous to present. As I went up to front of the room all I saw were my friends sitting in the back and all I could think is, "well I can’t screw up that badly."
When I got to the front I turned off the lights because I was so nervous I didn’t want anyone to see me break a sweat. One of the girls in the front of the room said to me “What are you going to do if you have to go up and present your graduation speech at the end of the year? Are you going to tell them to turn off the lights too?” and I said to her: “No because I’m never going to have to present my graduation speech at the end of the year.”
And here I am today presenting my graduation speech to all of you guys.
I was born and raised in the Bronx and I'm not afraid to tell anyone, yes, I had some hardships—like I'm sure that a lot of people sitting in this room have also had. From being in a school where I felt like a target, being bullied constantly about my weight, having to walk miles and miles to get to my school in the blistering cold because we couldn't pay for a cab and didn't have a car, dealing with from going house to house, dad to step dad.
And then I came to Mount Kisco and guys I'm telling you my life changed. It may sound corny but everyone here was so nice, understanding, and outgoing I didn't feel like an outsider—it felt way too good to be true.
Oscar Wilde always said “ Be yourself- everyone else is already taken”, and being in Mount Kisco and at has given me the confidence and self-esteem that I don't think I would have gotten anywhere else. If someone thinks I'm fat now I don't care I laugh in there face and say good cause I'm still going to have mi plato de arroz con habichuelas at night (rice and beans).
I know I'm not the only one that feels this way, I like a lot of people here am going to take my confident behind and go somewhere in life. Now I want everyone to take a look around—that's right look to your left, and then your right and do as the great Dr. Seuss once said: "Don't cry because it’s ending, smile because it happened."
I wish all my fellow classmates the best of luck in the years to come because—class of 2012—after these last 4 years, this last one being the hardest with all the college applications, deadlines we all had to meet, finding the perfect two teachers to write your recommendation letter, taking the SAT's and ACT's, trying to keep up those good grade while battling with senioritis we can finally say we made it!