Hello and good evening everyone, my name is Colleen Lagazo.
Before I start, I’d like to thank the Banning Unified School District and the school board. I would also like to thank the entire Banning High staff and faculty for their endless hard work that goes above and beyond for the students.
And even more so, I’d like to thank all of our loved ones, that are here today that have to sit through countless student’s names here just to hear their own student’s. I’d like to thank not only them, but also my friends here in the graduating class of 2018.
To my own mom and dad, I love you. Nanay and Tatay, mahal na mahal kita. My parents came here to America from the Philippines with a dollar and a dream — a dream for their family, for me, in the land of opportunity. It was dangerous, it was a leap of faith, but they did it for me and for my education and for their posterity to fulfill the American Dream. From starting off homeless to a small garage to owning their own home and business here in little old Banning, my parents have experienced so many trials and setbacks but have come to prevail each and every time. Thank you is not good enough nor will it ever be good enough because of what they’ve done not only for me but for generations to come. Indeed, I would also like to thank my Heavenly Father, God, for placing me in the circumstances he did, for pushing me, and for allowing me to be here among such impactful people here today. I am humbled and so eternally grateful, because it is through His divine help that He has placed me in this position, that He has helped me to graduate with the class of 2018 here at Banning High.
Starting from freshman year, we thought we would be in high school with what seemed like forever. Having connections or AVID, it seemed like we were just walking through but we were really building our foundation. Then on to sophomore year, it felt like an eternity with running laps in P.E and still eating that cardboard pizza from school lunch. Then, on came Junior year where time felt like it was going slow but incredibly fast with planning for college or after high school through SATs and ACTs. Some of us probably even had O’Neill with his countless references to Star Wars or had encountered Mike on the bike. It was the nearing of the end, but we still pushed onward.
Then we all made here to senior year, unsure of what was ahead of us — that soon being gallons of tears and gigantic amounts of stress with trying to figure out what we wanted to do. But we did it. We pushed through Troutman’s supply and demand dance, we pushed through college applications and admissions, we partied through our last Homecoming, Winter Formal, Prom where we made a legacy with our queen Heli Trejo winning, and grad nite where we stayed up so long together as a class.
We experienced all of these things together.
And I just can’t help and be proud of all of us, because we did it. We made it here. It is through all of the classes we’ve taken, the teachers we’ve met, the ebbs and the flows, the good times and the bad times, we have finally made it. Banning High has made us into the people we are today, but more so it has shaped us into the people we will become.
With this new chapter after high school, whether we are going to work, the services, or college, we are faced with an immediate and imminent problem- that we can do anything. We have an infinite amount of possibilities ahead of us. We have countless opportunities to catch. We can become anything that we want to be, as long as we have that desire.
Please, make sure to put your time into the things and into the people you love. First, find your passion and pursue your passion. Because passion is what makes the world go round and is what gives our lives purpose. If you have the dream to own your own bakery, then pursue that. If you have the dream to own an aquarium, then pursue that. If you have the dream to become a teacher, then pursue that. If you have the passion, then please, pursue that.
Let us embrace the moments now, look forward to the future, figure things out, and continuously progress ourselves.
Now, the world is not ready for us. My fellow trailblazers, the graduating class of 2018, let us go and set the world on fire.