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Good evening, WHS class of 2021. First and foremost, I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to everyone that has helped me to be in the place that I am today. Thank you, Ms. Teague, for your kind and thoughtful words as well as for giving me a sense of confidence in my abilities and for being like an older sister I never had. Thank you to my parents for being my No. 1 supporters, whether that meant buying poster boards at midnight for my procrastinated projects or waking up at 4 in the morning for my cross country meets. Y’all were always there when I needed y’all with no questions asked. Thank you, Daniel, for igniting a competitive spirit within me and for making me develop thick skin. Thank you, Mireille, for being eager to help me and for participating in my questionable experiments and activities throughout the years. Thank you, David, for supplying me with your daily dose of witty jokes and for always being down to play Super Mario Galaxy with me. Thank you to my friends for being with me not only at my highest points in life, but the lowest as well. Thank y’all for pushing me out of my comfort zone and for making life 10 times better in this small town of Waxahachie. Thank you to my teachers and coaches for creating a welcoming and creative atmosphere, and for putting in full efforts to make me and my classmates succeed. Lastly, thank you, God, for teaching me how to love myself and for reaffirming me with the fact that no one's opinion matters more than yours. Thank you for constantly reassuring me that you had a plan and that everything had a purpose. Thank you for keeping me grounded and for providing me with endless love and support through both difficult and joyful times. Now to the class of 2021, as Kamala Harris once said, “We did it, we did it, Joe.” No, but in all seriousness, we did it. Even if it meant completing it amidst Miss Rona. To think that our senior year was going to be normal after the supposed two-week spring break was possibly one of the funniest occurrences this past year. However, I think our class was the most equipped to handle the limitations this pandemic brought with it, and we brought nothing but success. For instance, the varsity girls cross country team won the district championship for the fourth consecutive time while having three state qualifiers, including three year all-stater Emma Curry. The boys basketball team made it to the regional championship. Both one act play and the marching band advanced to state. Choir broke a new record of winning five UIL sweepstake awards. The football team made it to playoffs for the first time in 6A in the “district of doom,” and a number of other sports made it to the playoff rounds. Along with these major accomplishments, we were able to go to school without having to shut down, which I find to be a major accomplishment on its own.

These successes wouldn’t have been possible without the strength and perseverance of our class. Although this pandemic, or panorama as referred to by some of y’all, prevented us from participating in some activities, it showed us the act of sacrifice. Sacrifice has been instilled within my family before I was even born. When my parents decided that they wanted to start a family, they thought of America as an opportunity to supply their children with the American dream that they were never given. Rather than vacillating between staying or leaving Mexico, both of my parents took their chances and decided to leave their lives in their home country to give their children the best possible life they could provide them with. Ever since then, they have been bustling to shelter, raise, and support their children. Gallons of sweat come from my father almost every day while my mom is filled with endless soccer mom duties. However, their exhaustion does not interfere with their desire to help and provide for our family.

It was my father’s dream to become a doctor when he was a kid, but his lack of education and money stripped him away from any chance to see that dream play into action. Every day, I make it my goal to sacrifice and to work hard to get one step closer to my father’s dream. Today, I am honored to be the first member in my family to graduate high school. Although this event seems so simple, it is not attainable for most people in the world, including my mother and father.

Para mi mamá y papá, gracias por enseñarme lo que significa trabajar para tus sueños. No podría desear una vida diferente a la que ustedes me dieron. Cuando me voy a California no sé que voy hacer sin ustedes, pero quiero que sepan que llevó sus sueños en mi corazón y en mis manos y que los amo mas que la vida.

As we enter this next stage of our life, we must not indulge and forget about the sacrifices that we made to get us to where we are, but we must use them as stepping stones to propel us for our ultimate goals. The act of sacrificing must not be used as a onetime occurrence, but it must be a virtue that is embedded into our lifestyles. In order to succeed, we must recognize the fact that there is no easy way out and that obstacles are bound to follow us.

I want to congratulate this class on handling this year with the leadership and diligence that made it possible for us to be here today. It is because of your combined sacrifices and efforts that we have possibly been one of the best classes in WHS history. Thank you for making these past four years memorable. Peace out, Texas, and que viva la raza.

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