Five Jefferson High School Mt. Shasta Campus graduates received their diplomas during a short 2017 Commencement Program Thursday evening, June 8, in the main lodge at Mt. Shasta City Park.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and before the presentation of diplomas, Principal Jessica Bowman gave a welcome address and graduate Jamal Keith Berry-Kersh 2017 gave a student speech, which is reprinted below.

He talked about the need for vision in order to change the world and his belief that “together we can all create a more virtuous, peaceful, and better world.”

That better world in Jamal’s vision, would include spending “more on education, research, and helping the poor and disenfranchised than we do on the military.” Everyone would work “selflessly for the good of the community” and global powers would “work collectively for the good of humanity.”

After the ceremony, graduates, teachers, family and friends enjoyed refreshments.

Graduates were Roaseanna Angelica Kay Crosland, Joshua Dean Grimes, Jamal Keith Berry-Kersh, Seaora Rose Madrone-Woods, Vincent De Jesus Zamora.

Student speech by Jamal Keith Berry-Kersh

"To achieve great things requires a grand vision. This has been the rule for the sum of humanity’s great achievements, from the voyage of Magellan to NASA. A problem that I see facing my generation is apathy; rather than striving to do great things so many of us take the path of least resistance. That is not to say we are selfish or that we don’t want to help others, this is born from the feeling of hopelessness, that we can’t do anything, that it’s impossible to change the world.

"And if you think that, well, you’re right. Because to change the world first you have to believe, you have to have confidence and you have to have a vision. We would never have gotten into space if we had not believed that we could do it, if we had not the confidence to go forth into the unknown knowing that our perseverance would see us through. (You don’t have to invent a spaceship to change the world) little things change the world too. And just by helping someone else out, you can change how someone sees the world, in a positive way.

"Teachers change our world, they educate us and show us we have possibilities in life we may have never thought of. Nurses and doctors change the world by saving people’s lives, creating a safer and healthier world, and giving people hope. Workers and architects change the world by building the infrastructure we use everyday. Our country is the result of millions of people’s efforts and dreams which when taken all into account is a nation of engineering marvels, groundbreaking research, civil rights, and democracy.

"Your life should be dedicated to the world and your vision. I want a world where we spend more on education, research, and helping the poor and disenfranchised than we do on the military. A government where both parties work together for the good of the people. I want to live in a community in which everyone looks out for one another, where everyone works selflessly for the good of the community. I want to see things built up, not destroyed. I want to see us develop diplomatic friendships with the rest of the world instead of harboring resentments and distrust. And I want the global powers to work collectively for the good of humanity. Alone I can not achieve these things but together we can all create a more virtuous, peaceful, and better world."