The San Miguel School said "farewell" to 16 graduates at its 13th Annual Eighth-Grade Commencement Ceremonies on June 12.
The Class of 2009 will be representing San Miguel at some of Rhode Island's top private and public high schools, including La Salle Academy, St. Raphael Academy, Bishop Hendricken High School, and Classical High School.
A graduation address was delivered by Luis Ortiz, a San Miguel graduate of 2006 and currently entering his senior year at La Salle Academy.
A portion of the speech given by the San Miguel Class of 2009 speaker, Julio Nunez, can be found below. Julio will be heading to St. Raphael Academy in the fall.
"I came into The San Miguel School as a sixth-grader who really didn't like to get involved with any activities. I used to take out my anger by making fun of kids, thinking it would make me look cool and help me fit in better with the other guys. Well, I've learned right from wrong. The ‘wrong' is to pick on kids, not do any work, and goof off. The ‘right' is just to be myself, work hard, and push myself to the highest expectations so I can live my life and make my dreams come true.
To me, the San Miguel community is like a team of construction workers. This community has ‘built' many young boys into mature young men. It has gotten me through a lot of rough situations. It made me who I am right now, and it will definitely impact who I will be in the future: a successful adult with a great future ahead of him.
San Miguel taught me one of the most important things in my life that I will carry with me always. This will be with me wherever I go: 'brotherhood.' No other school can top the way the San Miguel brothers treat each other. Love, care, and compassion are all a part of that. More importantly, I consider each and every one of my brothers a personal guardian angel. My brothers are always looking out for me and making sure that I'm at the top of my game and not slacking off with my school work, which I did constantly. The bond that we have created is unbelievable. It's also unbelievable how such a small school can contain so many wonderful human beings within it and how so many great things can come from inside it.
A few weeks after entering the eighth grade, each member of my class was assigned a fifth-grade mentee. Every morning I would come into school with a frown on my face, and every morning I would see my mentee at the front door ready to open it for me. He would give me a huge hug and say, 'Good morning, Mentor!' That was one of the greatest feelings and experiences of my life. With his first greeting, it finally hit me that I was lucky to be in a school were people actually did care about me. I realized then how much I actually cared for them, too.
I can't put into words how much the experience of these last three years at San Miguel means to me. The San Miguel School is the best, and I love every soul in it. I wish every student attending now-and every student to come-the best of luck. I know that we, the San Miguel Class of 2009, helped the San Miguel star shine as bright as it never has before. Every student should remember that inside every San Miguel star is a heart willing to love."