Student Voices: 2016 Graduate Speaker Taylor Kepler

Arizona Connections Academy


female graduate

I want to start off by saying how honored I am to be standing in front of my fellow graduates today. Graduates who have worked incredibly hard to get to this point for 12 years. 12 years, wow, it sounds like a life sentence!

I have one thing to say to you all—“We started from the bottom, now we’re here.” (Popular song lyric reference right now)

Alright, time to be serious…

It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point today. Thank you to our Learning Coaches and teachers who helped us every step of the way so that we could succeed.

As we move forward, we need to remember it takes hard work and dedication in order to reach success. Everyone in this graduating class can be something very special by persevering and always trying their best. I mean look…we made it here off of trying our best. Think about it—the only limits that we have are the ones we place on ourselves.

As we begin this new journey after graduation, I am certain we will find our true abilities and strengths that make each of us VERY unique.

High school was our bud, or our core, if that’s what you want to call it.

The rest of our life will be growing into a beautiful rose, each petal unique with the new things that we have learned. But without that bud, we wouldn’t be here today. Arizona Connections Academy has helped us grow and learn the knowledge we need to start the rest of our future and our careers. Teachers, executives, law enforcement, nurses,whatever you dream of being, we all required that beginning knowledge, or the bud, before we could start blossoming into who we would like to become.

So, what type of rose will you become?

In closing I would like to say, I am so thankful to have met such wonderful people at Arizona Connections Academy. I have truly blossomed into a strong, independent rose with qualities that I am able to carry into my future to begin my own unique adventure.

Graduates, this is the starting gate to the rest of your life. Persevere and work hard for what you want in the future.

YOU can be anything YOU want to be by putting in the hard work and dedication needed.

Remember, if you think you can….and know you can…..you can.

I am so proud each of you for putting in the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears—hey I’ve had so many paper cuts, that has to count as blood! I am so proud of our ACA Graduating Class and I would like to extend our thanks, on behalf of the class, to each and every parent, family member, teacher, and Learning Coach who partiently guided us to this point.

Congrats Class of 2016! We made it!