Just a few weeks since they last sang “Academy Beloved” for the last time, Academy of Our Lady of Guam’s latest graduates have passed the torch to the next generation and wished them the best for their future.
“Exert your energy toward discovering and unleashing your passion. You are all full of potential, and I believe that you can make a difference! Also, always stay hopeful, grateful, and curious!” salutatorian Ayezah Bagro said.
The May 13th commencement exercises went quite smoothly, starting with a processional where the 102 graduates entered one by one into the Father Dueñas Memorial School Phoenix Center dressed in their white gown and cap.
After opening remarks by school Vice President Mary Castillo, seniors Jan Malig-on and Shayli Aflague sang the National Anthem and Guam Hymn.
Bagro then took to the podium, where she delivered a speech that reflected her love for science.
“One lesson that followed me throughout the different branches of science was the law of conservation. The law of conservation states that a substance can neither be created nor destroyed,” Bagro said.
“I focused on the property of energy and realized that humans are also composed of energy therefore, we cannot be destroyed.”
Following Bagro’s salutatorian speech, valedictorian Anica Camacho then delivered hers, praising her fellow classmates for their multiple talents and achievements with the phrase, “We are beauty, brains, brawns and beyond.”
After a speech by Principal Iris Gaza, members of the Class of 2022 then received their diplomas.
When asked about how they feel after graduating, many of the newly graduates responded with enthusiasm for the future ahead of them.
“Graduating feels so surreal, but so rewarding. The last four years have been a lot of fun and it was an honor to celebrate it today,” said Jan Malig-on.
“It feels good to know that it’s hard to say goodbye to such a memorable place because it means that high school truly impacted who I am as a person. Graduating just means growing closer to who you’re destined to be, and I’m excited to be that person,” said Bagro.
At the same time, however, many of them felt sad to leave what they considered to be their home for the last couple of years.
“Graduations are pretty bittersweet, you know. I’ve always wanted to go to college but at the same time I really love high school. I really love the stability that high school gave me. … I feel like high school gives you that because for four years you’re with the same people each year,” said Camacho.
“I’m going to miss the Academy sisterhood. I love how we all have each other’s backs when we face a challenge — especially academically. I also love how we lifted each other up as women, and how we’ve helped each other grow,” aded Bagro.