More than 360 Richmond Hill High School seniors walked across the graduation stage and accepted their diplomas Saturday at the Savannah State University Tiger Arena.
Among the many speeches and inspirational quotes, both salutatorian Robbie Hester and valedictorian Vy Nguyen reminded their classmates that it is okay to make mistakes.
“Mistakes are necessary byproducts of success,” Hester said. “We become better people when we learn from our errors. It truly is better to try and fail than to not try at all.”
Nguyen commented on how she and her fellow classmates are likely to make mistakes over the course of their college careers, and how that was OK.
“We have the next four years to be irresponsible and screw up again and again … and yet again,” she said. “Now, don’t get me wrong … there’s nothing I believe in more than working hard and being diligent in order to achieve your dreams. But once in a while, it’s OK to make mistakes.”
Hester also sought to emphasize the importance of personal success to his classmates.
Success, Hester said, “is not handed out or easily gained, but earned through diligence and hard work. Success is found in remaining true to oneself and one’s passions. It is not found in complacency.
“For this reason, we must always be determined to improve, and we must always strive to be the best that we can be in everything we do. We have to take risks and we have to persevere through hardships”
Additionally, Nguyen reminded her audience to simply live life at times.
“Sometimes you just need to stop analyzing and planning everything and just see what happens. Follow your dreams, but don’t let your dreams control your life,” she said.
She also highlighted to her classmates how they were in charge of their own, unique lives.
“This is the story of your life — write it the way you want it to be and don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Some of us may write confidently in permanent marker, some of us carefully in pencil, and some of us may just scribble a bunch of nonsense. But regardless, each of our stories will turn out to be uniquely ours,” she said.
Senior Class President Andy Pham wrapped up the ceremony inspiringly telling the story of how his father fled from a communist country on a boat to come to the U.S. and live out the American Dream.
He passionately told his fellow graduates that they are all currently building their own boats to so they can reach their own American Dream.
Other speakers included Julia Kennedy, senior class vice president; Brooke Jenkins, senior class secretary; Makella Bergsmith, senior class treasure; and Mosha Patel, junior class president.
Joseph Traywick and Erin Turner introduced the salutatorian and valedictorian and principal Debi McNeal presented the senior class.
The Richmond Hill High School band preformed “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional, the national anthem and the “Procession of the Nobles.”
The high school’s senior choir preformed special music and the alma mater.
Bryan County Schools Superintendent Paul T. Brooksher, McNeal and Board of Education Chairman Eddie Warren were a part of the conferral of the diplomas.