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SC’s words for the Standard Graduates | Meg Courtney Photography

it was so exciting when sc found out that he had been choosen by the standard highschool graduating class to be their guest speaker for their ceremony. as he does with everything, scott took the opportunity incredibly seriously, and thought for weeks and weeks about what he wanted to talk about. the final product was so strong and inspiring i wanted to share it with you all!

whether you are 18, 23 or 50 years old, i think there is something to be learned from his beautiful words. i admire the wisdom that scott has acquired throughout his 26 years of life, and i look up to him everyday for his ability and confidence to be himself. he is the definition of a good person. he follows his heart, makes things happen, and truly makes the world a better place. life isn’t all about what you do for work, how much education you have, or how much money you have in the bank. it is about the influence you can have on another persons life. what you leave behind when you’re gone. i know scott has made a positive difference in so many peoples lives already, and i can’t wait to see what he does in the future. i am one lucky girl!!

here are a few of my favorite parts taken from his speech – hope you all enjoy it as much as i did!!


“My first and foremost challenge to you grads,.. is to simply take the time to recognize things in your life that make you happy…. and differentiate them from the things in your life that make you feel good…  For example, ice-cream makes me feel good, although I find that the less happy I am, the more ice-cream I eat.    There will be things in your life that will leave you feeling fulfilled….. and those are the moments that deserve recognition and attention.   I challenge you to find something that you love to do. Something that you are passionate about. Do it. and give it everything you have.   Don’t be afraid of failure….. instead, use it as motivation to succeed.   All of you grads have described your plans for once you have graduated High School.   Some of you want to be nurses, welders, engineers, and artists.  These are all amazing career choices…. and if you are passionate about it ….. I believe you will see success.

Secondly, I would like to challenge all of you grads… to do something outside of your comfort zone everyday.  I grew up in a small town very similar to this.. about an hour north-west of here.  Everyone knows everyone, and it is annoying and fantastic at the same time.  You grads will now be going out into the real world ….at University… and in the work force.  You will be forced to meet new people in unfamiliar surroundings.  Instead of fearing this and hiding from it…. step out of your comfort zone,  embrace it, and make the first move.  It will be hard to do for some of you but I assure you it will allow you to expand as a person.  Stepping out of your comfort zone can be on as small or as large of scale as you choose.  It can simply mean saying hello to a stranger….. or speaking up in one of your lectures next year at school.  It can mean moving away from your hometown to follow your dreams, ~ putting yourself out there for the world to see….. Or it can mean applying for that exchange program you thought was too intimidating.

  Speaking here…. is definitely outside of my comfort zone, and in the end, not ONLY do I hope you each can take one thing from away from what I have to say,…. but I KNOW I will grow from this experience JUST as much as you.

I know I have talked about passion, dreams and stepping outside of your comfort zone, but IN this process…. one of the biggest steps is setting goals.   In your life…. Especially the next couple years, you are going to face change.   I once heard a quote that said, “if you don’t have direction, you will always feel lost”. Staying focused on your dreams, whether that be taking over the farm, joining the army, or becoming a professional dancer, requires dedication and direction.   I do not want to stand up here and tell you, that once you set these goals you shouldn’t change them. I am merely going to say, that if you have something to work towards, you will be able to challenge yourself…. and discover new and exciting things about yourself on your journey. MY goals from high school have definitely changed….. But every time they do, I feel that I am one – step – closer, to following my dreams. I want to encourage you all to start making a book of goals. This can be things like “I want to go 2 months without getting a speeding ticket”… not saying any names… Owen… Or I want to call my grandma once a week. Setting small personal goals is every bit as important as setting big life goals. Work at crossing them off ….one at a time, and take pride in knowing you are headed in the right direction. A direction you can choose.

The last and final challenge I want to leave you all with tonight, is to pay attention in small moments, interact and connect with others, and recognize what you want your legacy to be. Yesterday, I celebrated the life of a young man from my small town, who inspired me to be a better person.  I was reminded of the importance of the small moments. Like taking the time to really listen when others are talking.  Or how small gestures can make such an impact on someone else’s life. I was reminded to take the time and enjoy not only my career, but also my friends, my family, and my hobbies.  My goal for my journey of life, is to learn to be still.  To love my work…. but to also love my life.  To encourage and help others grow. I want to live passionately… in all aspects.  Life is a journey and things are always changing, but what doesn’t change, is how you can influence someone else, how you can BETTER another person by simply INVESTING THE TIME, or lending a helping hand.  Carry your small town values out into the world. Tell your mother that you love her, and be kind to others.

On a lighter note, while researching for this speech, I came across these points. Turns out, you didn’t really need to go through 12 years of school after all, and everything you need to know, you already learnt in kindergarten:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that”


owen said some touching words about scott as he introduced him before his speech…

i don’t think i am the only one who looks up to scott….. 😉 this photo below makes me laugh everytime~ so proud 😉


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  1. Janine says:

    SO proud of you Scott! Emoji fist pump!

  2. Sarah Foreman says:

    I love this 🙂



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