Arizona Charter Phoenix Graduation Address: Malcolm Gilliam

Date: June 6, 2012

Ombudsman Arizona Charter Phoenix Alternative Schools Class of 2012 graduated on June 1 at Phoenix First Assembly Church. Malcolm X Gilliam addressed his classmates during the ceremony, and a transcript follows below:

My name is Malcolm X. Gilliam and I am graduating from Northeast Charter.

My high school career didn’t start out the way I thought it would. I attended 12 different high schools between freshman and sophomore years. On top of that I also focused on other things such as girls, friends, goofing off and not doing homework. This made things a lot harder for me. I couldn’t make progress. It was very stressful and there were too many interruptions in my education.

When I moved to Arizona in my junior year I started at Ombudsman Metro Charter. I realized that I needed to start to value my education much more and that I also had to find a place to accomplish my educational goals.

Things worked out well enough but at the end of my junior year, I left to try and get my credits a little faster than I thought I would at Ombudsman. That decision just led to more frustration. It wasn’t a faster track in another place at all. At that point I knew I had to return to Ombudsman because I was familiar with the expectations and requirements and appreciated more than ever all of the teachers honesty and caring attitudes towards me. At Ombudsman I loved working through the material the way it was presented. It was easier to understand and the note-taking helped me learn.

Ombudsman helped me set up what I would like to call a map. They mapped out my path and laid out the steps I needed to take to become successful. With their help it made it easy for me to articulate my goals and Ombudsman was able to show me the way to my full potential.

In April of this year I transferred to Northeast Charter and continued to find that I could reach my academic goals with the support of  caring staff. I want to thank those that have been my source of motivation in my life. These people are my teachers, especially the Ombudsman teachers, my friends and all of my family members, my mother Millie Gilliam and sister Christina Reeser. Without them I would not be here. Thanks guys.

My plans for the future after graduation are actively pursuing a degree in graphic arts. I would like to end this speech with this last thought,  “We all need discipline no matter who we are. Without discipline we have no backbone and cannot achieve our potential.”


Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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