Senior Speeches

This I Believe is a movement encouraging people to share, in essay format, their core values guiding their everyday lives. The movement began in the 1950s with radio host Edward R. Murrow.

When This I Believe was conceived, one of the goals was “to facilitate a higher standard of active public discourse by inspiring people to reflect, encouraging them to share, and engaging them in a conversation about personal values and beliefs that can shape a life, a community, and a society. By inviting Americans of diverse backgrounds to participate in the series, we hope to create a picture of the American spirit in all its rich complexity.”

This year, seniors and a few faculty members will be delivering their own This I Believe essays in our Monday assemblies. The videos on this page will be updated as each member of the senior class delivers their speech.


Quenelle McKim

I believe in the comfort of a hug. Especially the kind of hug when the other person takes me into their arms, making me feel safe and that everything is going to be alright.

I remember returning back to school after holiday break last year having torn my ACL. I tried to put on a smile that everything was okay and that I was handling my injury well, but behind the smile, I was hurting inside. One of my teachers was the first to see that and had asked me to stay behind after class to talk to her about what was going on. At that time, I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth to express how I felt, nor did I want to. I fumbled around saying this and that, trying to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. And then, she took me into her arms.

Just that one hug brightened the rest of my day. It reminded me that I was going to be okay and helped erase the one question that kept being repeated in my mind--which was whether or not I should continue to play basketball--because I was reminded that I would do what I needed to do in order to get better. Her hug showed me that I wasn’t alone, and that she would be there for me when I needed someone to talk to.

I believe that hugs are unconditional. Often times they are given based on a rush of emotions, such as winning a championship game/match, being accepted to your top choice school, or any other event whether joyful or sorrowful. Both parties are just trying to find an outlet to express or relieve their emotions.

Hugs can also fill the silence that words cannot fill. Hugs express compassion that one feels towards another. They are a way to help remind someone that they are not alone and that someone cares for them. Hugs come in all different types, such as a bear hug, a full on embrace, or a group hug, and have different meanings, such as love, happiness, or empathy. It can help change the outlook of someone’s day and deepen the connection between two people or amongst a group of people.

Everyone can give a hug, but you have to be willing to give up a minuscule moment of vulnerability. A moment where you may show the other person that you deeply care for them or a moment that may leave you wondering if you’ll be hugged in return. They can also be more meaningful than you think, especially if someone looks like they need one or is actively seeking one.

Having received a hug from my teacher at that time, it made me feel warm inside. I was able to smile the rest of the day without having the hurt feeling behind it. It gave me strength to accept what was done and to focus on the good outcomes that will happen, such as getting back into playing basketball. It was that unexpected hug that left me thinking how such a small gesture could mean everything to me in that one moment.

Posted by on Friday February, 9, 2018

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