The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

A final message: 12th graders prepare for senior speeches

in ARS News/News/Showcase by

Ann Richards is home to many traditions, such as Homecoming or Cotillion, one of these traditions includes senior speeches. Since the school’s first graduating class in 2013, 12th graders have prepared to give a speech to their younger sisters.

This tradition has been ongoing for five years and now the class of 2018 is up for the task. To prepare for this, students write their speech ahead of time and a week before their real speech, students must practice their presentation in front of their fellow seniors during STARS class.

“I was nervous at first, but once I started talking everyone was engaged,the feedback my classmates gave me was really helpful and made me more prepared,” senior Brenda Vasquez said.

Senior speech topics range from advice, to a passion, or a personal story; it is all up to the student. The most important thing is to reflect on the past years of growing up, whether it’s inside or outside of the school walls.

“Music is my entire life, it’s what makes me the most happy,” senior Karen Cramer said. “The speech is supposed to be about something the underclassmen can take away from and that was the first thing that came to mind, I just had to go with it.”

Part of the senior speech also includes an introduction. The student must ask someone to introduce them to the audience briefly before the real speech is given. Seniors can be introduced by a teacher, a friend, or anyone outside the school community.

“I immediately asked my friend Jackie if she would introduce me,” senior Vania Neri said. “I know her from church and she doesn’t go to our school, so I know she’s seen me in a different light and she just means a lot to me.”

Neri, Vasquez, and Cramer are the first of the class of 2018 to give their senior speeches at morning assemblies across the grade levels. Neri presented at all school assembly on the morning of September 5th, Vasquez spoke to the freshman class on September 6th, and Cramer spoke to the middle school students on September 12th.

Keyla Blanco’s perfect moment in time is when she is curled up on her bed, with her favorite food, and a superhero movie playing. Keyla is an indecisive, comic loving, superhero obsessed, fangirl. She wants to create movies that reflect the real world and its people. More diversity, whether that be people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, differently abled people, or any other underrepresented people, in films, is her biggest passion. Keyla grew up with her family and comic books and spends time with them constantly. Movies are her main escape, and they help her see the world. Keyla is shy at first but opens up after some time. Fitting to her personality, Keyla is the Entertainment Editor for the Polaris Press.

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