Class of 2019: Central High School

Let family lessons guide future

By Chris Andrade

Student of the Year, Central High School

Good Evening, my name is Chris Andrade, and before I begin I want to thank and congratulate all the family members that are here today for the Class of 2019.

In a few moments we are about to get our high school diplomas. This signifies everything we’ve learned over the past 12 years. But there are some valuable lessons that school didn’t teach or prepare us for. And tonight, I am thankful for this opportunity to share with my classmates five life lessons I’ve learned from five different family members to guide us through the journey of life.

I learned at a young age from my papa to always stay true and honest with yourself. Or as he would say, “Listen man, this is your only life; you can either live a lie or you can live your truth.”

I learned as I went to work for my uncle in his shop, Frank’s Auto Service, watching all the different people that walked in, and how many different people he knew, I learned that it isn’t about what you know, but rather who you know. Because connections will get you closer to where you want to go.

I learned from my dad to always work hard, not in the hopes of making more money but because your work ethic is a reflection of your character.

I learned from my mom, Ms. Andrade, that not all superheroes wear capes. There’s nothing she can’t do and in turn taught me—and you guys—that there’s nothing we can’t do either. Seriously, the woman is difficult to please. Is it just me?

I’ve learned from my sister as she struggles through high school to not let others’ opinions define who you are. Instead, be the happiest that you can be because your thoughts create your feelings. And we all want to feel happy.

And finally, something I’ve learned recently: Class of 2019, we don’t need to have everything figured out step by step. We have time. The next decade of our lives should be about discovering what makes us happy.

I don’t know about you guys but being done with high school, really, really, really makes me happy. Am I right?

Now let’s get churros!

Conquer your fears

By Brenda Flores

Good Evening families, friends, and Central High’s graduates of 2019!

If you were to tell me during my freshman year of high school that I’d be standing here addressing all of you right now on our graduation day, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But that’s the thing with second chances and opportunities: You don’t always see them coming. When I was given the opportunity to attend Central, the first thought that ran through my head was fear of the unknown. I did not know what would happen if I decided to take this path, I did not know what this would bring to my success.

The second thought in my head was the fear of failure, the fear of having another door shut in my face.

Lastly, fear of judgment—I was afraid of what others would think of me because I was transferring to a new high school in the middle of my senior year.

For us, being a student here and being a part of this environment has taught us so many things that we didn’t know when we first started; this was nowhere near what we thought it would be.

I believe we are learning that fear should not prevent one from taking chances, because it’s really easy to follow the footsteps of those before us. We are learning to try and not let fear get in the way of opportunity or what it will bring to us because we are afraid of what the outcome will turn out to be, so be curious. Be ambitious, make mistakes and learn from them.

We are learning to not be afraid of what others might think because at the end of the day those same people are intimidated by our potential, so be you, be great and make a difference.

Class of 2019, we can do anything and we can be anything, but what we can’t do is let fear get in the way of these pursuits because this world needs more people like us. Learning is what keeps us moving and fear is what holds back. So as we cross this stage tonight, let’s remember to always keep moving forward.

Thank you.

Chris Andrade and Brenda Flores delivered the above speeches at Central High School’s Class of 2019 commencement ceremony June 6 at the Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater.

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