Stay focused and keep your path forever clear

By BEN LOLLER
KCHS Class of 2024 Valedictorian

Hello everyone, I am Ben Loller, Class of 2024 valedictorian.

I am honored to be able to speak to you today.

I would like to first thank all of the people who have helped me throughout my high school years.

The only words which come close to expressing how grateful I am are the words of Pope Francis, “Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.”

Thank you to my friends, my family, KCHS, and this community for helping me along this educational journey.

My fellow graduates, secondly, there have been and will be many wise words said this morning. You will not remember many of them, but do remember that wisdom must be gained through experience and as said by Bob Marley, “Don’t sell your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold.” Stay true to yourself.

And lastly graduates, as we think about our next steps and paths after high school, I want to tell you a story about three skiers. 

The first skier focuses on all of the trees and ice patches in his way while the second skier focuses only on the path down the mountain. The third skier, who never made it to the mountain, forgot to set an alarm and never got out of bed. I believe there have been times when we could all relate to him.

On the mountain top the first and second skiers begin their journey to the bottom. The first skier is so worried about avoiding the trees and ice patches that he becomes lost on his path to the bottom and must trek back up the mountain again.

When you become so focused and worried about the obstacles in your way you forget the reason you were even skiing in the first place. 

My advice to you today is to choose to be the second skier, then on the path to your success you will naturally overcome any obstacle or hardship. Stay focused on your goals, stay focused on the destination, stay focused on your experiences. And keep your path forever clear.  

Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2024.

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