When Dustin Moffett talked about overcoming adversity in life, he talked from personal experience.
The Brookfield High School valedictorian in his address at the school’s May 26 commencement talked about his father losing his job and his mother’s battle with cancer.
While Dustin gives credit to God for getting his family through, his message also preached something that those who do not share the depth of his belief could take from it: patience.
“We have bad days and rain in our lives, but we must remember to persevere through these struggles, because it is helping us become stronger individuals,” he said.
Don’t let those struggles deter you from your goals, Dustin said.
“Setting goals is important when striving for success,” he said. “Set goals, both small and large. But the most important part of a goal is time. Set a time frame to achieve that goal. The harder you work towards something, the greater the reward is when you get there.”
Dustin’s comments inferred commitment, something Principal Adam Lewis also addressed.
“Many people say that, as long as you work hard, you can be whomever you want to be,” Lewis said. “You can do whatever you want to do, and go wherever you want to go. This is only partially true. The true key to success and the greatest gift you can give yourself is to be 100 percent committed to the journey you have chosen.”
Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor said that journey could lead to great things, not only individually, but in a much larger context. As the superintendent of the school’s 105th graduating class, she is the first to address a class against the backdrop of Brookfield graduates who have done great things. She noted the school district has created a Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, and compared the possibilities of the 2019 high school graduating class with the accomplishments of the hall of fame’s first class of inductees.
“The education they received prepared them to meet the world, ready to make good decisions and the right choices,” Taylor said. “They each took chances and worked for positive change.”
The graduating students “alone have the power to decide who you will become and what you will accomplish,” she said. “We look forward to hearing of your accomplishments and opportunities to cheer you on as Warriors who make this world a better place.”
Senior class President Jordan Tingler asked his classmates to keep the memories of high school with them, even though they represent a path that the students will leave behind.
“But, at the end of one path, there’s the start of another,” Jordan said. “From here, we start our lives walking into the adult world. No more football games, pep rallies, band concerts, school plays or field trips. Now starts a part of our lives that really shows us who we are. No matter where we go, we will always remember high school, the good and the bad.”
Dustin added that, while success can come from a narrow focus, it does not occur in a vacuum.
“Love everyone for their differences, because our differences are the key that make humanity great,” Dustin said. “Our different personalities and ways we perceive situations make us stronger. We are able to do more together than one person is able to accomplish by themself. Stay humble, stay positive, and be kind. Kindness is lacking in our violent world, and we need people to not only remain optimistic and hopeful, but to treat one another with respect.”
The ceremony included a vacant chair in honor of Ciara Kay Long, a classmate who died Jan. 17, 2018, of cancer.