Annett Tamayo’s Graduation Speech

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Annett Tamayo’s Graduation Speech

Annett Tamayo, class of 2019 inspirational speaker, earlier in the year as Principal for the Day.

Annett Tamayo, class of 2019 inspirational speaker, earlier in the year as Principal for the Day.

Annett Tamayo, class of 2019 inspirational speaker, earlier in the year as Principal for the Day.

Annett Tamayo, class of 2019 inspirational speaker, earlier in the year as Principal for the Day.

Annett Tamayo, PVHS Class of 2019 Honors Graduate

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This is a transcript of Annett Tamayo’s graduation speech:

Good evening, families, friends, and loved ones and welcome to the Graduation of Pinole Valley High School’s class of 2019.  My name is Annett Tamayo and I will be giving the Inspirational speech tonight.

A really wise mentor once said to me, “YOU MUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF SO MUCH, THAT YOUR DREAMS WILL HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO MATERIALIZE.”

(Pause 1,2,3)

We’ve spent 4 years here at Portable Valley, discovering and crafting our dreams. We’ve watched each other work  hard to attain something that we’ve discovered we wanted along the way. Now whether that’s getting into your dream school, or obtaining your high school diploma, or dreaming of being in that new building as a high school student, you did it because YOU believed in yourself (well I mean….besides the new school part. (we’re only oh so powerful hahaha)

(Pause 1,2,3)

Now whether you want to believe that or not, I’m here to tell you that all of your accomplishments so far including this high school diploma that we are about to receive are all because YOU decided to believe in your abilities. And I want to emphasize that — because as someone who stopped believing in herself this year for a little bit, I’m here to tell you that your life just won’t feel the same once you start doing that. So can we please give everyone here a round of applause for this accomplishment.

(Pause 1,2,3)

DON’T EVER STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF, AND I PROMISE YOU THAT YOUR DREAMS WILL HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO MATERIALIZE BECAUSE WE ARE ALL A POWERFUL FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

I’ve continuously seen this powerful force on campus, and I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen it too. The unnoticable activism, the continuous courage to break stereotypes of cultures and genders in a very uncertain political climate. The leadership this class has taken to bring new clubs, and something new to the table to make everyone feel included makes us all so inspiring!!!!!!!

I feel like as young activists, and as young people who want to make a change in our society, our age comes with a lot of backlash. People think that just because we’re 16, or 17, or 18, we don’t necessarily understand the issues that are going on around us, but I am here to tell everyone that this class has proved anything but that. We’ve made it known that: WE ARE YOUNG BUT WE ARE JUST AS SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS AS THOSE WHO THINK THAT THEY HOLD MORE KNOWLEDGE OVER US JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE OLDER. DON’T EVER LET YOUR AGE BE A DETERRING FACTOR WHEN FIGHTING FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO REFLECT ON OUR WORK AS A CLASS WHEN WE’VE DECIDED TO TAKE A STAND IN HOPE FOR CHANGE.  Now whether you’ve participated in these movements or not, we’ve all inspired each other.

Remember November 10th of 2016? Our school joined a national walkout due to the new president-elect. Everyone who participated including myself really took a stand in fighting against this new administration in something that was so personal to us.

If you walked out on this day, and actually took it seriously, I admire you… and if you chose not to walk out and stayed in school.. I admire you too. But let me paint a picture of how this day looked like for those who weren’t there. This was my first ever protest and I think it was a pretty cool one. A big mob assembled in front of the health center after lunch, and as a sophomore, I was genuinely terrified but inspired at how powerful we all were. As we walked down Pinole Valley Road, we literally closed the whole street (sorry if you were a car affected by this lol) and we walked with cultural flags, or symbols of who we are and where we came from, and where our families come from. When we got to one of our destinations some of us gave speeches on coming from immigrant backgrounds and how this administration was targeting our families, our rights as women , the rights of the LGBTQ community and the rights of underrepresented communities itself. This right here was definitely one of the defining moments of what I thought Pinole Valley High School was all about.

Do you guys also remember when members of our class such as Yassna Ahmadi, and members of her political revolution club, orchestrated a walkout to protest gun violence in which we joined thousands of other high schools…..I thought that was pretty cool… We TOOK A STAND IN FIGHTING FOR SOMETHING THAT HAS ENDED THE LIVES OF OTHER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

& I want to take a moment for those who didn’t get to walk the stage due to gun violence. I’m sorry, and I hope that we can do better.

(Pause, 1,2,3)

Besides the protests, I want to shine light on innovative things that happened during our time in an effort to create a more inclusive environment here at Pinole Valley.

Let’s start with the amazing work our GSA Club has done with the amazing leadership from Phoebe Hosley and everyone who has participated in helping to break down gender stereotypes at our school and community through events like the drag show which was a big hit by the way!!! So thank you for creating a place where people can go express themselves and be who they wanna be.

And I kind of already shouted out political revolution but I want to personally thank you guys for inspiring me as an activist.

Animal rights club, thank you for making sure Pinole valley HIGH SCHOOL was now known to be a anti animal cruelty environment. Animals are beautiful…. yes including the seagulls.

And to our earth team, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP IN SAVING THE PLANET!!! Also if you didn’t know, our planet is falling apart, and we need everyone’s help in saving it. Please remember to  reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Before I forget… do you guys also remember when our school started giving the announcements in Spanish, so that more people felt included in our school. Or when we had a Latino Club and an Immigrant rights club during our Junior year and our partial senior year. Yeah… I wonder whoever created those things…. (hahaha) but seriously this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the inspiration I got from all of you.

As I conclude my speech, I want to leave you guys with a few words… WE ARE THE FUTURE, AND CHANGE STARTS WITH US. I FOUND THE POTENTIAL TO FIND THE POWER BEHIND MY VOICE AND FOUGHT FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN AND SO DID A LOT OF YOU.

Therefore, please keep this question in mind as we leave into a world that needs our help for change.

WE ALL HOLD POWER WITHIN OURSELVES, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THAT POWER?

TODOS TENEMOS PODER DENTRO DE NOSOTROS MISMOS, QUE HARAS TU CON ESE PODER?

(Pause 1,2,3)

Thank you.