“The Greatest Way to Predict the Future is to Invent It”

This post continues our Student Voices series. Jie Bin Liu graduated from The Brooklyn International High School this June and will be attending Colby College in Maine this fall. This is his valedictory speech.

Principal Pam, teachers, parents, friends, and fellow graduates, it is truly an honor for me to speak to all of you today.

I have a few words that I would like to address to the graduating class. Seniors, we have always been a very diverse group of people. We come from different regions of the world. We speak different languages and have very diverse cultural backgrounds. After the graduation today, we will all be going in different directions. The past four years at BIHS has been an important time in my life. And I’m sure it has been an important time in your lives as well. There has been a lot of change and growth in all of us over the past four years.

Four years ago I was 14 and I remember my first day of school at BIHS. I was excited with my new classmates and teachers. Jason, I still remember how hilarious you were in the first math class you had with us. Remember how you sprayed water on your hair, trying to fix it? And Scott, your history class gave me and other new students strong impressions and still catches our interests today. It was the first time in my life I felt going to school was a fun thing.

Four years ago we were all freshmen. We liked to stick with people that spoke our own language. Four years later, we are still close with people who speak our language but we are also friends with students from other countries. Unity is a lesson I have learned, seen and experienced at BIHS. Being in this united environment, I have opened up myself to other people around me more. I am more eager to participate in class discussions and to get involved in different clubs and activities at school and outside of school. I never expected I would be as social and outgoing as today. In the course of fours years, we have made so many lifetime friends at BIHS.

Today, I know that I am standing on the edge of a future that it going to be the rest of my life. I am inspired by a quote from one of the greatest American computer scientists, Alan Kay. He said, “The greatest way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Some of us here today, including our parents, are wondering how our lives are going to turn out. It is okay to wonder. But I also think it is important to realize that our future is not just something that happens to us. It is up to us to create.

So, Class of 2010, I urge you today to embrace the opportunities before you. Take what you have learned the last 4 years at BIHS and put it to good use. Make these lessons become the working parts of your greatest invention, YOUR LIFE! Congratulations, The Brooklyn International High School Class of 2010!

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