Latham School celebrates Katrina, our newest graduate

Last week, our community came together for the graduation of Latham student Katrina. The speech below – delivered by our Director of National Outreach, Katrina Fryklund – provides a glimpse of this very special day for our newest graduate. We all congratulate Katrina on her accomplishments and wish her the very best!

“Katrina has grown in impressive ways since joining our Latham family two years ago. I remember her first day well…I was so excited to meet another Katrina! I walked up to her, unable to contain my enthusiasm, and said, “Hi Katrina, my name is Katrina too, and I can’t wait to get to know another Katrina on campus!” She shyly looked up, then back down…and didn’t say a word. I thought, “Oh, no – I already scared her!”  Fast forward to today, two years later, and Katrina is so different! She has an elegant confidence about her and walks around campus with a smile on her face, and a ‘cool’ attitude. She hollers to me across campus, “HI KATRINA!” and makes sure I don’t forget important campus goings-on, like her graduation. She is often seen walking amongst her peers, laughing.

Katrina, I know you’ve been looking forward to today – thank you so much for asking me to be a part of this special day. When I was going through a graduation, someone told me about the W’s of life. Think about these when you’re facing the good days, of which you’ll have many; and the bad, of which none of us can avoid completely, no matter how prepared we are.

Who: who you are is what makes you special. Do not change that. Remember all the friends and staff who have supported you and who you have supported. You are a dedicated friend, intelligent scholar, and you continue to maintain a sense of humor despite hardships. Those qualities are hard to come by, and you should be proud of the young lady you have become.

What: what lies ahead will always be a mystery. Don’t be afraid to explore. Remember that shy girl who walked on campus in 2017 and remember how far you’ve come. You’ve conquered so much, and I know you will continue to do so, day after day.

 When: when life pushes you over, you push back harder. Life is full of challenges, many of which you’ve already overcome. The challenges will continue, and I know that with each challenge you will continue to be thoughtful and considerate of all the best options.

Where: where there are choices to make, make them wisely and with confidence. You have all the tools in your belt to act with that growing confidence. Never let your light dim because you, my friend, are very bright in every sense of the word. The most important thing to remember is staying safe and staying positive!

Why: Why things happen will never be certain. Take it in stride and move forward. Sometimes asking ‘why’ seems like the easiest question and can lead to endless frustration. Instead, during those times, continue to ask yourself, “What’s best for me, what’s best for others around me, and how can I be my best self (and benefit from the support around me?)”

Earlier I said, “Never let your light dim.” I’m ending on that because, Katrina, you are a beacon of light in any room. When you smile, it makes others smile around you. When you achieve a goal or finish a lesson, others take pride in your accomplishments with you. When you support your friends with kindness and understanding, their light in turn glows brighter. Continue to smile, even if you want to frown. Continue to achieve goals and learn new things so every step of life remains exciting. And continue to be kind and supportive to all those around you.

Congratulations, Katrina! We’ll miss you and know that this next chapter will have an occasional challenge, but moreover will be full of excitement and new beginnings.”

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