A Valedictorian’s Speech

Laelah is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Estelle Council of Queen Creek, Arizona

By: Laelah Nuriddin

My journey to get to this evening, to be able to be in this cap and gown, was full of many ups and downs. As a student of CEC College I can full heartedly say they have helped me more than I can imagine. Not only have they helped me graduate but they have also helped me overcome some of the hardest times in my life. They have helped me grow into the person I am today.

In 2021 I decided to attend this school. I had completely failed my sophomore year because of Covid. My father was also sick with cancer, and I was at my lowest point in life. I was truly depressed, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything. My grades were the least of my worries. Since I absolutely bombed 10th grade, my family reviewed the options presented to me and we decided that CEC would be the best option for me. I was skeptical because I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the program and its way of learning.

A few weeks after my family met with the former administrator, Mr. Mitchell, my father passed away. My sister and I visited him in the hospital for the last time on May 19, 2021. I still have regrets on how I acted during that time. I regret not saying goodbye correctly. After my father died I made it my mission to redeem myself, to be successful, and to do my best in school. I did just that.

“Be grateful for the people
who are here for you. And
be grateful that you are here
today even if you don’t want
to be, it will get better.”

I worked my hardest and I got the best results I’ve ever received in my life. I began to love subjects I never loved before. Chemistry and Math easily became my favorites. You can ask my family and they will tell you I used to have tantrums at the table not being able to comprehend Math. I used to say I will always be someone who prefers English to Math and I would stand by it, Until CEC.

I want to thank them for helping me learn to appreciate and love all subjects. That being said, I still love English. You can catch me buried in a different book every other day and I will write and finish an essay with ease. My father always believed I would learn to love both, and he was right. I even remember him telling me stories on how chemistry was so cool and that I would enjoy it and I looked at him like he was crazy because at that time Chemistry was a subject I told myself I would hate.

Graduates, people here that are still in high school, even elementary school students, be grateful. Be grateful for everything you have right now. Be grateful for the people who are here for you. And be grateful that you are here today even if you don’t want to be, it will get better. In fact, I completed English 102 as well as Spanish 102 this semester from CGCC. Although it has been a challenge, I persevered.

Never give up, believe in yourself. There will be ups and downs but that’s life. You just have to look forward to the ups. Seniors, I’m betting this moment right here is a big up for all of you. It is for me. We’re finally finished with high school! I’m grateful for my family, I’m grateful for all of CEC, and most of all I’m grateful I’m able to be standing here right now.

Laelah graduated from Chandler Early College High School in Chandler, Arizona.

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