Nancy Perez: Elkhart Memorial Graduation Speaker

Graduation is quickly approaching for Memorial and Central Seniors, and with this comes a list of things to do to get ready to prepare. Ordering a cap and gown, sending out invitations, and planning a graduation party is just the beginning, but for Memorial senior Nancy Perez, another item has been added to the long list of graduation activities and obligations: preparing the graduation speech.

Perez was chosen to deliver the speech after auditioning with six other students, and has been preparing since November of 2017 for the big day.

“Since I was a little kid, I’ve always told my mom that I wanted to be the speaker at graduation,” said Perez. “I like to talk and public speaking is one of my favorite things to do because it comes easily to me and it’s something that I enjoy.”

Her experience with public speaking, along with her involvement in numerous clubs and activities including speech and debate, Move2Stand, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), student government, and many more, Perez addresses her classmates with a perspective of various different areas, the theme encompassing the experiences of everyone in the class of 2018.

Determining both the theme and content of the speech proved to be much harder than expected, when at first Perez struggled to find a defining moment in the lives of her and her classmates.

“As a class [of 2018], we haven’t had a lot happen to us, which I think is good.” said Perez. “We haven’t had any major losses. Good things have happened to us, but nothing amazing, and bad things have happened to us, but none too tragic. So, it was really hard for me to find something to write about and to place importance on, in the speech.”

However, with ‘time’, Perez was able to write a meaningful and memorable piece to share with her classmates, choosing to include remnants of everyone’s favorite childhood author: Dr. Suess.

“Our theme is ‘time’ and how it’s gone by, along with some ‘Suessian’ aspects.” said Perez. “It’s sad, but it’s going to be very uplifting as well.”

Ultimately, Perez is excited to represent her classmates in their final goodbye and hopes that everyone appreciates their time with each other in high school.

“I hope that they [my classmates] know that our time here was important and that although they may not think that, we learned a lot of lessons and met a lot of people, but the lessons that they [the staff] taught us should always stick with us.” said Perez.