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Success lies within, Lehi students told

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Approximately 300 Lehi High School graduates were told at commencement exercises Friday that the key to success lies within themselves.

"Believe in yourselves," admonished student speaker Kasha Loiseau. "Believe in your ability to make your dreams happen. If you believe, you can achieve."Loiseau told graduates not to be satisfied with defeat and that they could achieve success with persistence and hard work.

Hard work and a positive attitude is what Elizabeth Turner learned when her family was burned out of their home last fall.

"We decided to look at the positive aspects - like getting a new kitchen, new clothes and getting closer as a family," she said.

Turner said a positive attitude is often the difference between success and failure. She told the story of an optimistic young boy who thought himself to be the greatest baseball hitter in the world.

The boy repeated that belief as he threw the ball in the air and took swings with his bat. After missing three straight times, the boy declared, "I am the greatest baseball pitcher in the whole world."

Courage was the theme of Jennilyn Tucker's address. She related the stories of two 1997 Lehi graduates whose courage was exemplary.

Student Angie Miner was diagnosed with a brain tumor in sixth grade, Tucker said. Despite blindness and a loss of coordination, Miner didn't give up and eventually retrained herself in basic skills.

The other courageous student, Evan Sorensen, fell from a tree when he was a freshman. He was paralyzed and is now in a wheelchair but displayed courage in rehabilitating himself, Tucker said.

"These two classmates are heroic examples - having the courage to try and the will to succeed," she said. Besides their diplomas, Miner and Sorensen received plaques of commendation from the Class of 1997 Friday.

Allison Schneider spoke about the tendency to look for self-validation from society. What really matters, she said, is what we think of ourselves.

"What lies within us is what we are," Schneider said. "It seems our whole life is spent trying to find out what lies within us."

Speaker Troy Smith outlined three steps for learning: discovery, thinking and application.

"To continue to probe, question and think about our world is the only true way to learn," he said. "We enrich our lives by continuing to use all of the (steps of learning) to improve ourselves."

Before graduates received their diplomas from Alpine School Board member Guy Fugal, the Lehi High Combined Chorus performed "This is the Moment." Student Trisha Fox played a piano solo, Chopin's Scherzo Op. 20.

Senior Class President Jana Fullmer related some of the year's successes, including six athletic state championships. Graduates were awarded a total of $273,000 in college scholarships, she said.