Is All This Worth It? A Selection By 2017 Valedictorian Elise Moore

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As a graduating senior, Elise Moore requested that an excerpt of her valedictorian speech be shared with the community at large.  

Is all this worth it? Is Maranatha worth it? For my first two years, here I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t until this year I realized three reasons that set Maranatha apart from the rest.

I transferred here my sophomore year. The first day, I walked into school in my atrocious khakis, and a nervous feeling in my stomach at the thought of having to convince people to like me.

First class of the day, American History.

I sat down in the closest available seat to the door because my legs were shaking. The group of girls I sat next to stopped their conversation and turned toward me. The movie Mean Girls flashed through my mind and I pictured being victimized by the next Regina George. To cut the tension, I made a reference to Sherlock when I noticed the 221B door plastered on one of their planners. We made an instant connection and we’re best friends to this day. Mikayla, Alainna, and Kim thank you for taking a chance on me that day.

Maranatha is worth it because of friendship. From struggling up mountains with Berit to the love and support from the devoted fan section at State games to even coming to this school thanks to Sami’s convincing. Nowhere else is there the chance to create as deep and meaningful relationships as what I have here.

It is rare that so many people will invest in your life. My second reason Maranatha is worth it is because of how much the staff cares. Thank you to Mrs. Brinkley and all my student council family for helping me pursue my passions. Thank you to Mr. I for teaching me that Integrity is My Only Option. Thank you to Mr. Handrick for his French toast and life advice classes. Through Maranatha, I’ve built memories that I never would have accomplished. I’ve looked over a Mexican city from 10,000 feet above. I’ve started a club and got a grant for $9,000. I’ve played basketball on TV and in front of thousands of people. I’ve shaken hands with the governor. For this, I want to thank Mrs. Clutter, Mrs. Nelson and Coach Chris respectively. I could not have done those without you.

Some of you may be thinking this is a unique case of an overachiever, but Maranatha is designed this way. It lives up to its college-prep status. College prep is a school that will prepare you for the challenges faced after high school. Having a Bible class may not help you on the ACT but it will help you in life. My faith has grown immensely since I’ve been here, and in the end, isn’t that the only thing that truly matters? Maranatha is worth it because of faith.

Now, full circle. Is it worth it? Yes. It is. But, where do we go from here?

To the parents in the crowd, congratulations you’ve made a good decision putting your kids here. To the extended families here tonight to celebrate us seniors, thank you for your impact on our lives. To the administration, teachers, and staff thank you for honoring God’s calling to teach us. To my senior class, I want to thank all of you for making this worth it. My story is not unique to this class and I am only successful because all of you showed me how. It’s crazy to think I’ve only been here and known all of you for three years. Wow it’s only been three years and we’ve all grown so much. Imagine what we will do in a lifetime. I want to close with a quote from a scholarly source in history, Professor Albus Dumbledore of Hogwarts. He says, “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are, it is our choices”. I made a good choice coming here and so did all of you.

Thank you, Maranatha. You were worth it!

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