Ross and Sonderling Valedictorian Speeches

June 24, 2021

Annie Hsu, Ross Valedictorian, and Nabihah Ahsan, Sonderling Valedictorian, share their graduation addresses to the Brentwood High School Class of 2021 below.


Annie Hsu’s Ross Valedictorian Speech

Good morning! I am Annie Hsu, the Ross Valedictorian. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to graduation but I am happy to share this special and unforgettable moment with you through this address. I would like to give thanks to my peers, teachers, and staff members here at Brentwood High School. I really appreciate all the hard work and dedication that you all have demonstrated, especially during this pandemic which has made things quite different than previous years. We all worked hard to adjust to a new learning environment which was a struggle and we continued with our extracurricular activities. These were important as they gave us the opportunity to interact with our friends and classmates. 

I am proud of all of us for pulling through and persevering and getting to this moment – graduation. This graduation ceremony marks not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. College and the future may seem intimidating for all of us, however, I am sure that college and life will be unique and different experiences. It’s important to remember that grades are not everything and that as we move forward in life, we must continue to be involved in various sports, clubs, hobbies and other activities that gives us the chance to get to know more people and step out of our comfort zones as it is outside of our comfort zone that we can grow.

I wish all of the graduating seniors the best of luck in college and in your future endeavors. I hope that every one of you will achieve great success in life. Let’s go, Class of 2021! 

Nabihah Ahsan’s Sonderling Valedictorian Speech

Before I begin my speech, I would like to thank all the teachers, staff and administration who have made this day possible, along with all my friends and peers who have journeyed along with me on this trilling adventure while making some amazing memories. Most importantly I would like to thank my parents, without whom I wouldn’t be here, and God who helped me get through the thick and thin.   

Dear class of 2021, we made it! I am honored to stand before you today, representing such an amazing class of hard-working and dedicated students. But today is not a day about me. It’s a day about us. A day where we recognize all the challenges we overcame to get us here. The sleepless nights, the last-minute assignments, and the hours spent studying how to prove triangles were actually triangles.  

Many of us today will be the first in our families to attend college. As we celebrate, let us not forget the roots that brought us here. As we move forward, let us not forget that we have a duty to give back to the community that once raised us. Many of us come from immigrant parents who gave up their own comforts and made countless sacrifices so that one day, they can see this day. So I’d like to pause in this moment of my speech and ask you all to look your loved ones in the eye and say thank you.  

The journey of a scholar is not an easy one. We are travelers in a world where we will face many challenges, successes, and failures. But it is through these experiences that we become stronger and more prepared to step foot into the real world. It seems that we’re all on this journey to achieve success, but what exactly is success? Is it defined by how high your GPA or income is? Or is it through popularity and how many friends you have? The key is to not let others define it for you. Let us not let numbers dictate our self-worth. To me, success is waking up in the morning with a big smile on your face knowing you’re going to make it, without fear of being yourself and accepting that your journey may not be the same as others. Success is failing in order to learn. Because without pressure, there is no diamond. It is achieved through persistence and dedication. Know that the reward of following your passion is true happiness.   

As we move forward, keep in mind that some of the most successful people in the world started their lives as an average person. Just like you and me. And just like them, we too have the capability of achieving greatness. So let us preserve as we turn our dreams into goals and our goals into victories. Let us ignite the flames of passion within us and use our legacies to inspire generations ahead.   

Class of 2021, I wish you all the best!   


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