Words of Inspiration: Class of 2017 Graduation

During the Class of 2017 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Ceremony, many words of inspiration helped to celebrate the accomplishments and give blessings for the future for the 93 students walking the stage/altar to receive their diplomas. Here we share the speeches from the Valedictorian, Michael Jasso, and the Salutatorian, Alondra Lopez:

Michael Jasso
Washington University, St. Louis, MO

National Honor Society

Good afternoon Class of 2017, faculty, family, and friends.

Writing this speech, I didn’t know where to start. There are so many great things to say about our class from over these four years. I think we should give ourselves a pat on the back for making it to graduation. Be proud of all the achievements you’ve made up to this point. This day is about you.

I’d like to take a moment so we can all thank our families for getting us to where we are. I want to express my appreciation to my family for helping me get to this point, and to be able to stand in front of all of you. Our families are apart of who we are. But just as important as our families, we should also thank our friends. Some could say they’re even the same thing. The friendships and bonds made at CRSM are one of a kind. Our friends have been there for us through thick and thin, and we’ve been able to make some everlasting memories. Our friends support us, care for us, and want what’s best for us. We all want to see each other excel, and I hope we can all carry these friendships into the future.

As our chapter of high school comes to an end, we start a new chapter in our lives. CRSM has given us the opportunity to reach our full potential, and it’s time for us to take advantage of this. We all have wonderful aspirations and hopes for our future. Whether it be becoming a rapper, a teacher, an engineer, or anything in between, be what’s going to make you the most happy. Wherever your life takes you in the upcoming years, know you have the ability to succeed. As Dr. O, loves mentioning we all have GRIT.

I’ll close with a quote from the great Michael Scott, “May your hats fly as high as your dreams.” Thank you and congratulations fellow graduates.


Alondra Lopez
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Business and Psychology
NHS President
Student Ambassador
Schuler Scholar

Every Friday at assembly, Mr. Edmond, dean of students, told us: “Give yourselves a hand!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I also will not forget the word “grit,” or, “Our mission here is three-fold” or “God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.”

You know, we heard these things over and over and over. Every week to be exact. But wait, you know what I won’t forget, at all? Those crowded hallways that you would always try to push through to get to class and not be late even though your next class was 10 feet away from your last. You’re lucky enough if you even got to class without being pushed. Or getting to class without snow in your shoes from just walking outside. All these phrases and memories will stick with us because these things have created our character.

We’ve had bumpy roads and we’re the ones walking this stage today.

But we didn’t embark this on this four-year-long journey alone because we had resources that we may have not always recognized like teachers, friends, and family. Knights too, like our school mascot, aren’t alone. They have a suit of armor, a horse, and many useful skills. Knights wear on their coats a crest, which is a symbol that shows their background and what they’re protecting. And like them, we should wear our crests high and proud to wherever our next journey takes us. Whether those crests are our CRSM community or our family ethnicity and traditions.

You know we actually ARE knights. We’re those persistent warriors that don’t give up, so whatever obstacle we’ll encounter in college and future just remember your roots. You will always be a CRSM knight at heart, because a knight is full of those useful skills I had mentioned: energy, determination, and persistence. All of us, and yes I mean all of us sitting here, have those qualities. We had our own battles and we even won our battle through high school. Like the knights we are, we need to protect our castle. By a castle I mean, your passion. Yes, let your castle be your passion. Allow that passion to grow like a flower, but never let it stop growing. Protect that passion and don’t let anyone change it or tell you what to be.

Hold on a second… Close your eyes and imagine your freshman self. No never mind, it’s kind of scary. Well at least for me. But no seriously, take a second to acknowledge the experience, and wisdom we have obtained since then. Experiences from corporate work study set us apart from many other high school students. But what sets us apart the most, is that fact that we’re the last class graduating from our, what we call, “Our grandma” building – and to me that says a lot. Ha ha ha ha all these memories make me feel like “That’s so Raven.”

But just remember to continue reaching for more. But, as you do it, don’t forget about those mistakes that made you stronger and who you are. Make sure you thank your family and friends here today. And just when you think you have accomplished everything, just remember what Biggie Smalls said, “The sky’s the limit and you know that you can have what you want, be what you want”