Every person is responsible for finding peace and joy in life. Happiness and satisfaction are not gifts. They are byproducts of living honestly and trying each day to grow or improve in some way.
This was a message of Sarah Summerhays, a student speaker at Salt Lake Community High School graduation exercises, Thursday evening.Approximately 81 people under 18 and 152 adults completed requirements for graduation during the 1990-1991 school year at the alternative high school.
Summerhays said people's lives are built on the choices they make. She told the audience of her own struggles to attend school but said she is happy to graduate and is eager to go on to college.
She said, "Your future depends upon yourself, upon the realization of your potential, upon the development of your skills and talents and upon your dreams and attitudes toward life."
Maritza Flores, another graduate, thanked the school staff for the time and effort made toward helping students reach their goal.
"The staff have a genuine concern about each and every one of us. They are very tolerant and understanding where others would have given up. They believed in us," she said.
Flores also thanked her family for "standing by me and encouraging me and most of all for believing in me."
Khiem Tran, who was born in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), told of his efforts to leave Vietnam by boat and of being deterred by guards. He said he later was able to reach the Philippines, where he lived and studied English for nine months in a refugee camp before coming to the United States.
"I feel very happy that I came to Utah and to the Salt Lake Community High School, where I have been learning English and many things about America. I plan to go to college and study to become an engineer. Everybody at this good school helped me learn English. Now I can understand you, even though you can't understand me. I thank everyone here very much. I am very happy to be graduating tonight," Tran said.
Graduation theme: "A Bridge to the Future."
Graduates: Approximately 230
Location: 180 N. 300 West.
Student speakers: Maritza Flores, Sarah Summerhays, Khiem Tran, Virginia Milius, Melani Rhodehouse, Joyce Leonard
Commencement speaker: The Rev. France Davis
Community Service Award: Rep. Joanne Milner, D-Salt Lake