NBHS Graduation: Valedictorian Gabriella Roy’s Commencement Speech

New Britain High School’s 2018 Class Valedictorian, Gabriella Roy, attended Holmes Elementary School and HALS Academy before attending NBHS, excelling to the top of her class.

Roy has been lauded by school officials for her academic accomplishments, but also for her involvement in sports and student clubs. Schools Superintendent Nancy Sarra said that Roy’s hard work and perseverance has made her a role model for all students in New Britain.

“I grew up in New Britain, and I loved the people and the community,” said Roy. “I don’t think people realize the opportunities NBHS has with AP classes, diversity, and teachers. Almost every teacher I’ve been with has left an impact on me.”

Roy was accepted to seven four year colleges, and has decided to attend the University of Connecticut. She plans to Major in Nursing.

NBHS Valedictorian Gabriella Roy. CSDNB photo.

In her address to her classmates of the Class of 2018, at their graduation on June 19, 2018, Roy said,

Hello, and welcome to the graduation ceremony of the New Britain High School Class of 2018. Family, friends, faculty and staff, members of Administration and the Board of Education, and Mayor Stewart, thank you for joining us on one of the most important days of our lives.

Students, can you believe it? Look at us. This day is actually here. We are sitting in probably the most important seat that we have sat in the past 12 years. Think about some of the people who have sat in these same seats, the greatness that has come from them. But we obviously supersede all of them, and I mean all of them. This day is when we celebrate everything that we have accomplished in the past 18 years of our lives. Take in this moment, this feeling you have, and cherish it because this is a once in a lifetime feeling.

I think we should really look at ourselves, and I mean really look. Look back at everything that has happened that has led up to this moment. The all-nighters, early mornings, procrastinations, and any other scenario that most of us hated. Look where it has gotten us. We are a few minutes from being let loose into the world and the one thing that is stopping us is me. Trust me, I’ll be short. I want that piece of paper just as badly as you do.

But first, we want to thank and appreciate all of the people and the work they have done to get us to this moment. We want to remember that without these people we would not be where we are today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people who have left a personal impact on my life.

  • Thank you to all the administrators, who probably have completely been irritated by us but continue to do anything they can for us.
  • Thank you to Ms. Bristol. I know that we annoy you most of the time, but you always let us come bother you and, if we ever needed anything, you would always help us. I will never be able to thank you enough for everything that you have done for me.
  • Thank you to Mr. Pigeon for feeding us every day before class. Those Pop Tarts and NutriGrain bars never went to waste.
  • Thank you to Mrs. Clement for all of your help to get us through freshman year. We appreciate the fact that you still have the “Not So Pretty Princess.”
  • Thank you to Mrs. Mathur for turning us into Chem Gods.

I want to thank all of the friends that I have made in the past years, especially Nick, the one boy I will never truly understand, Cate, the girl who joined me in making the worst decision ever to organize Assassins, Mahmuda, the girl who swears she made cupcakes with my grandfather, and Jaycen, the guy who has the amazing ability to finish work 10 minutes before its due.

Thank you to my Peruvian family, both here and abroad, who have continued to support me through all of my adventures.

Finally, the biggest thank you goes to my mom and dad. There are no words to describe the love that I have for you. You both have continued to support me through it all and look where it has led me. I know that you both will always have my back.

All of the knowledge that we have gathered over the past four years will serve us well as we welcome new endeavors that await us. As we are sure to encounter new challenges, we can never forget that there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome with perseverance and dedication. Whether we are dealing with a personal crisis, or a bigger issue within our communities, each and every one of us can contribute to making our society, and world in general, a better place.

As seniors this year, we were all witnesses to the tragic events that occurred with the various school shootings. Gun violence, or any other negative problems that arise in society, are issues that we will have the power to change. While it’s easy to be present and involved with the positive and pleasant events of life, we should strive to dedicate ourselves to being active role models within our community.

If I could leave you with the best piece of advice, I would offer you this: whatever road you choose to travel, take all the values that have been instilled in you by your parents and always keep them close to your heart and mind. Those principles are what made you who you are today and will also serve as your guidance for who you will become in the future. Your loved ones truly have your best interests at heart. The advice that they offer us comes from their personal and unique life experiences. They shared these experiences so we don’t have to repeat the same problems that they encountered.

Our high school journey has been filled with highs and lows for each one of us. Whatever obstacles came our way, we persevered and here we are! There is no doubt that there will be greater, more difficult challenges in our future. However, I know that we are all equipped with the capability to be honorable and productive members of society. That’s where we will find the true measure of who we are as successful people.

Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.” With this quote, I would like everyone to see that we control our own destiny and realize that we have the capacity to do anything and everything. We are ending one chapter of our lives today, but also starting a new one. I would say good luck to everyone but I know that you won’t need it. This has been an amazing journey. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Thank you.