Flexibility will be needed to work “in fields that haven’t been created yet,” and patience will be needed in goal achievement, which “almost never takes a straight path,” Friedt said.
An appreciative crowd at First Baptist Church of Elyria on LaGrange Road heard three student speakers: valedictorian Kimberly Renee Hardin, salutatorian Tyler Richard Johnson and class of 2009 President Evan William Kolodey.
Hardin, who plans to study pre-med, told the story of a hard-working grocery worker who works two jobs to support her family.
After the woman had surgery to remove parts of her lung in October, she returned to work at the grocery store with three kids to support and mounting medical bills.
With Thanksgiving approaching, a customer slipped her two $50 bills with the instruction “Use this to buy a nice dinner for your family — have a nice holiday.”
Hardin called the woman at the grocery “the hardest worker I’ve ever seen” and the customer “a little miracle.”
Hardin said the story illustrates the importance of individuals and what makes them special.
She said what matters is different for all of the students — it might be going into the Marines to defend our country, to be the first person in the family to go to college or giving Grandma a hug every time you see her.
“For the class of 2009, I hope that you have the opportunity to be the customer in the grocery store, and, if you don’t have the opportunity to be the customer, all I ask is that you work as hard as the grocer,” Hardin said.
Johnson, who will major in engineering at college, got everyone laughing while talking about life versus high school.
“You are done with high school now, which means you have now survived the easiest 18 years in your life,” he said.
“You now get to pay for everything you want or need yourself with the money from the job you have to go to every day, and you get to come home and do bills and pay taxes,” he said.
Luckily, it isn’t too bad for most people, who will find something they really want to do, find their perfect match and have children themselves, he said.
Kolodey, who will study aeronautical science, told his classmates “Success is not the destination — it’s the whole journey.”
He gave graduates the following pearls of wisdom:
“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long in the first place.
Don’t wait for something big to occur — start where you are with what you have, and that will always lead you to something greater.
When you’re going through hell, keep going.
If you think you can’t, you can, and if you think you can, you’re absolutely right.
Remember that you always have friends ready to catch you if you fall and always remember the sky is no longer the limit.”
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.