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Miguel Calayan

High School, Class 2008

Finalist, Tribeca Film Festival

“As far as Southville goes (or my whole childhood for that matter), I can't really pinpoint the moment when I decided to pursue film. Unlike some of my peers, I didn't grow up knowing I'd want to be behind the camera. All I knew was..." read more>>


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Recognition Speech of Miguel Villar (June 21, 2014)



We have just celebrated the success of the students who have given their all in the past academic year. But, come to think of it, what exactly made it so that they could achieve their goals?

I’ve learned throughout my entire life in basic education that success is a two way street. If we decide to show our drive to achieve our goals, then in return success will chase after us. You see, in order to go beyond the limits, we need to have focus and passion for our aim; if you couple that with hard work and dedication,then surely we’d have achieved something by then, right? Well, there’s something we always tend to forget; something that we take for granted almost every day. Because even if we have these values—all the knowledge, all the determination—we’d still be nowhere without the support of those who truly care about us.

On behalf of the student body here today, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those same people who have carried us throughout the year.

First and foremost, I believe the greatest thanks goes out to Our Father. For without him, none of this is possible.

Secondly, we would like to show our gratitude to our teachers. They play many roles in our lives: our second mother/father, our mentors, our guides, etc… Our teachers sacrifice their time, so that they can pass down their knowledge unto us. Each of them have their own different methods and teaching styles, but one thing is certainly common between all of them and that is their intentions. It is truly great to know that there is someone willing to patiently teach us the basics we need for the next level, andthis isn’t limited to just academic knowledge. They shape us to behave as we need to and to act as we must. They guide us through their particular subject, and to some extent life itself. In short, without them—we wouldn’t even be standing here today.
Next off, I’d like to thank the school staff. They are the ones who always keep us up to speed on the daily happenings inside the campus. These honorable people also maintain the structure of the school itself, so that we have a better learning environment.

Last but most definitely not the least, we have our family. Our parents pour their blood, sweat and tears; in order for us to get the best education we can get. They are our support system…our foundation. These are the same people who wake us up on those lazy days where we just can’t seem to get off the bed. The same people who are willing to give up an entire meal, just to listen to both your problems and achievements. They don’t mind driving through tons of traffic every single day, just so we don’t get late for school; and yet even if they expect something from us, they never put us under unneeded pressure. Then we have our brothers and sisters. Some of them help us out when we can’t find a solution, while others find a way to cheer you up if you had a bad day. The point is, our family has so much unconditional love, yet some of us haven’t had the chance to thank them as much as they deserve to be. So let the medals and certificates we earn today, show how much we don’t take you for granted; because every student, whether or not they receive any awards, just want to make their families proud and see the smile on their parent’s faces.

Before I end this speech, let me leave you with this quote by Kelley Armstrong that I believe summarizes the views of those I thanked earlier: “I want you to have big dreams, big goals. I want you to strive to achieve them. But I don't want to see you beating yourself up every time you make a mistake.”