Isaiah's Graduation Speech of Gratitude


We recently held a graduation for students at our May Center School for Brain Injury and Neurobehavioral Disorders in Norwood, Mass. Every student graduates on their 22nd birthday, so we hold one graduation for a group of students graduating in a 3-6 month period. Isaiah's last day at the school is on his birthday in August. 

Isaiah (on the left in this photo) gave the commencement speech for the ceremony. He is a beautiful, smart, and talented student and young man. We are all glad to know him and bittersweet to see him move to his next chapter. Today we want to share his speech with you.

"Dear May Center (School) staff and teachers, thank you for always showing up to work, teaching us every day, and helping us stay out of trouble.

When I first came to the May, I used to be a really bad kid! You guys were tough on me and we worked on so much stuff in the years I was here. I'm really happy that Ms. Julia became my teacher. Whenever I was upset, she (and Fred) always came to me and asked me if I was okay.

I like it when Fred and I joke around to keep my frustration out. I know I was a "little-bad" as a student while I was in Ms. Julia's class, but I'm very proud of my teachers, the staff, including the May Center ... principal Andrea. She always came to me and asked me if I was okay, and she always made me happy when I saw her in the halls.

I love going for walks with Ms. Julia, Kersten, Fred, and Fabio. Thanks for always being there for me and giving me time to calm down before I go to school. You are such nice staff, and I hope all my teachers and staff continue doing good in the future.

And to my residential staff, I want to thank everyone for watching me grow and become a better person (the one) I am today. ... thank you to the staff that taught me how to cook, and always reminded me to do my cooking STO's. I also want to say "sorry" to the residential staff for giving you guys a hard time. And thanks for treating me like a grown adult.

I'm so happy that Alex D and I became great friends over these years. He has been there for me through my ups and downs. I'm so proud of myself that I do all my academics on time and try my best to get them done.

I thank the morning-run school staff for always being there for us and teaching us how to become better people each day. I can't thank you guys enough, Olivier, Mandy, Jessica, James, and Raffllea - you have done so much for me, and you guys give me good advice when something is wrong, and we come up with solutions. You guys made me become an even...better person, the one who I am today. Thank you to Jessica, for always asking if I wanted to talk about what's bothering me, and I really appreciate everybody's hard work and progress.

I want to thank Ms. Erin for always teaching me things in your speech class. I can't believe I graduated from speech OT class and have learned so much.

Dear Classroom 9 teachers and staff - I want to thank Ms. Julia for always helping me with my situations and problems and trying her best to solve them with me. I can't thank her enough for always being there for me and having my back when I'm going through difficult times. And I can't thank Fred enough for always giving me good advice when I have a problem with the situation. I can't believe I did a nice job walking away from a situation that didn't involve me. I love my teachers and staff!

On my last day in August, I'm going to say goodbye to all my favorite friends, teachers, and staff."