Her photo holding up strawberries in her cap and gown drew me into a story about a valedictorian speech about motivation.
I stopped reading the newspaper years ago. My husband, Wayne and Mother devour every word, everyday. They will occasionally show me a comic strip I just have to read, an obituary of a contemporary or an article that moved them. Today Wayne suggested I read a front page article in the Lakeland Ledger.
Some Stories Are Worth Reading
I liked the front page photo of Mulberry High School’s valedictorian, Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas holding a cardboard container of bright red strawberries. These berries are a symbol of the motivation she felt to become the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Furthermore, she isn’t the oldest child.
Her entire speech is printed inside the article about her. You can read the article and her speech here.
Why is her Speech Different?
A couple of things impressed me about her speech. Her words are interesting, insightful, bring you into the world of her family, show her compassion for others who have more advantages than her. You might say, “What advantages could this child of migrant workers have?”
Here are her advantages.
- Her parents are hard working.
- They encouraged her to make the most of the situation.
- She worked alongside her parents in the fields.
- School employees like Miss Danny saw her potential and helped.
Her parents provided her inspiration and they illustrated how difficult life is without an education. Brenda turned the sweat of her brow into motivation that earned her the valedictorian spot. Furthermore, her focus resulted in a full scholarship to Stanford, 3,000 miles from the small, rural town of Mulberry, Florida.
I applaud you, Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas. You make me proud to be an American where anything is still possible.