Blake Carpenter looked into the sea of people in front of him. His felt fine. Better. He felt fantastic. This was his element: people. He was going places in life and nobody was going to stop him. His fellows stood behind him on this wonderful stage. This was the recognition they all deserved. He stepped up to the podium, his graduation robes flowing around him. He removed his graduation cap and put it on the podium. To his right was the principal, a glowing smile on her face. To his left were both councilors, beaming.
He smiled and looked into the crowd to where he knew his parents were. “Today, is a glorious day for the whole lot of us. We students shall be moving forward in life, going to college, starting work, and various other activities. You are the parents, friends, and family members of this class of people, these young adults who are moving up to a new level of life. The feelings of pride that you have for us must be incredible, but if it hadn’t been for your support I know that many of us may not be standing up here right now. I was selected by my fellows to speak on behalf of all of us, and I say thank you.
“Thank you for the time you took to take us to sports and clubs. Thank you for tolerating us at our worst and loving us at our best. Thank you for spending thousands upon thousands on gas hauling us all over town before we could drive. Without you, we would have missed much.”
Blake pulled the microphone off of the podium and looked back to his fellow students. “This is our moment. We are at a new threshold of life. Many of you are going to college, some are actually heading to a professional career. You all have done well, congratulations.”
He turned back to the audience. “Finally, one last thank you. This one going out to my friends and family. I know I wouldn’t be standing here, speaking to all of you if it weren’t for you. Thank you. Mom. Dad. I love you guys. Thank you.”
Blake set the microphone back into place, stepped to the side of the podium, and performed a graceful bow at the applauding crowd before him. This was his moment, and he would cherish it for as long as he could.