Written and delivered by Jacqueline (Jax) Morgan '19, the Head-Elect of the Student Body.
Hello everyone. I am Jax Morgan and I am truly honored to be speaking on such an important occasion for the class of 2022. Having come to Stoneleigh-Burnham in high school, I never had the pleasure of sitting in these seats excitedly awaiting the moment when I would join upper school, as you all are doing now. However, after being a middle school resident assistant and seeing this class each day, what I have had the pleasure of is observing the growth of each and every student sitting before me today. I have seen the leadership and work ethic that each possess and the passion they have for what they do. I have seen how bright they all are and how they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Most importantly, I have seen all that they are capable of doing and all that they have to offer to this world.
Class of 2022, you are artists, actors, athletes, musicians, scholars, and far more than could possibly be mentioned in just one speech. But what makes you who you all are is not what you do, it is how you do it. It is how you approach approach obstacles with confidence and insightfulness. It is how willing you all are to push yourselves outside of your comfort zones and gain new experiences. It is how true you all stay to yourselves.
So what does this mean for the future? No matter where you go, in high school and beyond, there are going to be challenges. But when the going gets tough, I have no doubt that you will all be able to look at those moments as not what will prevent you from getting somewhere but rather a mere speed bump on the quest to whatever you are pursuing. When you do feel doubt or worry, I encourage you to reflect on your moments here in middle school. To reflect on your classes with the teachers here at SBS that most likely saw your potential in an area even before you knew you had it. To reflect on the relationships you have built here and all that your friends who have taught you not just about the world around you, but also about yourself. After all, when we are greeted by a challenge, what guides us is not the prospect of the future but what we have gained from our past.
Though of course, the future is not painted with difficulty but is rather painted with possibility. There are so many opportunities for all of you to explore the world and explore what inspires you. As much as I encourage you to reflect on your experiences here in middle school, I equally encourage you to use all that middle school has taught you when it comes to doing this exploration. No matter where you go next year or five years in the future, you have gained experiences in the past year or two that will have left you with the confidence to seize opportunities and constantly push beyond your comfort zone.
Finally, don’t hold back. Each of you have something to say and so much to offer. Each of you are different and creative. When I see this class, I see confidence, talent, and ambition. I see young people who not only want to make a change and who are not afraid to start the conversation, but young people who are also ready to do so.
So class of 2022, it is time to show the world what you are made of.