Speech for NJHS Induction Ceremony
Good evening students, faculty, and family members!
Thank you Miss Bloom, Mr. Baca, Ms. Thiry, and Principal Cariel for having me today at this year’s National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony.
I first wanted to extend my gratitude for Mountain View’s culture that that has been cultivated in your school, and is so welcoming and brings a sense of positivity when you walk through the front doors.
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Bowen Perry, and I proudly serve as a Youth Advisory Board Member for Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Our mission at Freedoms Foundation is to educate educators and of course young adults about American rights, and responsibilities, honor acts of civic virtue, and challenge all to reject apathy and get involved. Quite possibly the most important role that we educate our educators and students is the notions of rejecting apathy in their lives and being complacent with how the world is around them. We as a young generation have to reject the ways of complacency. As you step into the National Junior Honor Society today, this is the message that I hope you, as a young scholar and a leader, take with you as you begin this journey into your advanced academic careers.
Right now, I am_standing before the academically excellent students of Mountain View Middle School. Looking out and seeing each of your faces I see honor, service, leadership, citizenship, and scholarship. You are a bright group of students, and today we recognize you for all your hard work. It is because of your hard work that I have been given the honor of speaking to you on this day. It may be to your surprise that I’m not here to lecture you on getting good grades in school, behaving well, or going to college. Just the mere fact that you are here tells me that you don’t need me to reinforce these ideals and I’m sure your parents have already done a great job of doing.
So then what to say to the students who, are leaders, empowered, driven, and dedicated? To Mountain View’s young and brightest, perhaps the best thing I can tell you on such a special day in your academic career is that_you have no idea, you couldn’t even begin to fathom, what you are capable of doing in this world. Yes, you are academically excellent. Yes, you participate and lead several different clubs and organizations. And yes, you uphold yourself to a high behavioral standard. And you are… what? And you can… what? Fill in the blank with your dream and open up your mind to what you never imagined could be. I know there is so much potential in each and every one of you but it has yet to be fully realized. When I,, myself was getting inducted into the national Junior Honor Society less than 5 years ago I didn’t know yet how much I was capable of doing. Like me, you won’t know all that you are capable of doing until you start pushing yourself. When I say push yourself, I mean dreaming, thinking outside the box, challenging yourself, and never settling. It sounds like a simple idea, but you will find that anything can be done through initiative, and drive. You may be thinking I know what I’m capable of. I’m going to high school and then college because I want to be a dot dot dot; which is all great, stupendous. Now I want you to take what you just said and think bigger. And then multiply that by itself and then think bigger until you cannot think anymore! And now you’re probably thinking that’s preposterous but it’s really not! Now… I’m not saying everyone will become the next President or be the first person on Mars but what I am saying is that you won’t really know how much you are able to achieve until you push yourself the farthest you can go.
You’re still in middle school, where you may think, I am not old enough, I don’t have enough
say, but you do! To make change happen in your school, community, state, and nation, it starts here. As a simple local idea and then grows and grows. Dr. Jane Goodall once said “To create change is not by confronting something head on, it’s by telling stories, listening, and the trying to find a way to reach the heart.” You’ll be heading off to high school, and going further and further into the belly of the beast. By the time many of your peers will have reached high school it will already too late to try and tell them what I’m telling you now. You see, as I look across the room, I see so much greatness. What’s even more exciting is that you all have already achieved what many could not so now you just have to think bigger. You have what it takes! You have all the tools you need. You live here in this country, one of the greatest countries in the world! It is great because it was built by people who thought outside the box, people who weren’t afraid to ask what’s next and how we can do things better. You also attend Mountain View Middle School with teachers and administrators who encourage you and who sacrifice so many of their personal hours because they believe in you. And not to be forgotten, you have your parents the people who have been pushing you before you could remember. If you don’t know how much you are capable of doing just ask your parents or your teachers they’ll give you an idea. While no one can predict how far we’ll go, we know that we cannot settle or be complacent which is the unfortunate trend I’ve seen in many students who are young, and bright, but don’t know how to push themselves to be the greatest that they possibly can be. They say we won’t surpass the accomplishments of our parents or grandparents. But, they are wrong! My hope is in you and your hope is in us! Together we can stretch our arms to the skies and accomplish the impossible. As you are welcomed into MVMS’s NJHS chapter, and become a member of the most honorable society in the nation, there comes all these pillars, and responsibilities, but also a greater purpose,
lying outside of just yourself. This societal organization, established in 1929, brings a long line of heritage and legacy. With upholding your obligation to your community and school comes the commitment of service, through setting goals, and never stopping until you accomplish what is best for your fellow student, or citizen. So in this short time I’ve been talking if you haven’t already, start dreaming, start thinking of all the places you’ll go, begin thinking of ways to challenge yourself. And you’ll start to see what I already see in you.
NJHS members and inductees, you continue to make this school proud as well as the students who have come before you and for that I thank you. This is only the beginning and I look forward to seeing and hearing about all the great things you will be doing in the near future. On behalf of myself, and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, I wish to welcome you into the Nation’s most prestigious and honorable junior society. Until we meet again, you have my sincerest and deepest congratulations.