Senior Night 2024 Recap

Senior Night 2024 brought seniors, families, friends, and faculty/staff to campus to celebrate the class of 2024 ahead of Commencement. In addition to hearing from Head of School Kim Samson and several senior class representatives, members of the yearbook club also read this year’s yearbook dedication to Lisa Brown and yearbook appreciation to Beaver’s Marketing department.

As per Senior Night tradition, seniors voted on a faculty/staff member to deliver a speech. This year, Upper School Counselor and Academic Support Provider Ashley Garcia was selected. You can read her speech below!

Hi everyone,

My name is Ashley Garcia. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of the upper school counselors and last year, my first year at Beaver, I had the pleasure of inheriting a junior advisory. Before going into all of the “future focused” advice, I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to you all. In grad school and in other professional experiences, I held parts of myself back, always feeling that I was too much or that my enthusiasm and confidence made others uncomfortable. When I came to Beaver, I told myself that I would try to be my authentic self and see where that goes. From day one, the class of 2024 affirmed that this was the right choice. So many of you have created the space for me to ask questions, learn about the community, but most importantly many of you trusted me with the most vulnerable parts of yourselves. Thank you for this.

I’d like to take this time to focus on two things: The power of love and the courage to speak the truth.

First, the power of love. So at Beaver, something that is spoken about a lot is how we are a community. One of the markers of community is that we each have the responsibility to speak up for those who are on the margins of society and stand up in the face of opposition. As students, this may look like challenging decisions made by administrators that don’t include your voice, or by using your social media to advocate for what you believe in. In order to do this effectively though–and to understand what you’re fighting for–you must do it from a place of love.

Think of it this way: if we’re part of a community, my responsibility to you is to pick you up when you’re down, help you recognize a mistake, help you do better next time. And because I am invested in you, I’m not doing it to pick on you or make you feel small; I’m doing it because I love you and value the relationship we have. As we are all people living in a community, we should be able to dialogue about our successes and our failures, hold one another accountable, and grow together because all we do is centered on mutual love and respect. In other words, in order to do good, everything you do must come from a place of love. Whether that’s telling your friend they hurt your feelings, creating boundaries with your families as you take this next step, or accepting when you are wrong. And while many of you have started the journey of loving yourselves, you must continue working on developing this self love so that you have the capacity to love when confronted with the challenges you will face in life. Love is transformative and unconditional, that applies to self love too!

Lastly (kind of), many of you have already demonstrated the courage to speak truth in the face of those with power. In a world where silence can often seem safer, it is essential to find your voice and use it to advocate for justice. This courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to act in spite of it. Ok, now I’ll end with the advice you’ll actually remember. Advice for the future:

  • Too much of anything is not always good
  • If your friends leave the party without telling you, they aren’t your
  • Check in with your parents regularly

As you embark on your individual journeys, always stay true to yourself. Discover your passions, follow your dreams, and let your heart guide you. Don’t be swayed by the expectations of others or the fear of the unknown. Trust in your abilities and believe in the person you are becoming. You have the power to shape your own destiny, and the world is waiting for you to leave your mark.

Congratulations, Class of 2024!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *