In her own words: Aviva High School graduate Pamela

Pamela graduated from Aviva Residential Treatment and Aviva High School in 2015. Here’s an excerpt of the speech she read at her Commencement ceremony:

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our graduation ceremony. I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Pamela and I am a graduating senior from Aviva High School.

Since I started at Aviva they helped me with my emotional challenges. They helped me by helping me get my life straight, because in the beginning I had a hard time realizing that I had to move forward in order to leave the past behind.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I’ve chosen to confront my fears. One of the obstacles of fear for me was acknowledging changes in my life.

When I was 12 years old I went through trauma. I was violated. I was scared to tell my family the whole story. But I did because it was the right thing to do and that showed the brave girl that I am.

It affected me so much that …. I …. wanted to kill myself by jumping off the roof of the school. As a result I ended up at Aviva and when I first started Aviva I was shy. I did not talk to anyone. I just got my work and started doing it

Aviva helped me with some of my struggles and dealing with trauma when I was 12. Aviva also helped me improve my reading and writing. I have been at Aviva for 7 years.

I want to have a good future so I can help homeless people get a home and a job. Also I want to help children get a good education and get a good future. Helping others is like helping myself be a good example to people who want to help people.

I want to thank my teacher Mr. Gerhardt for being there for me. I also want to thank Ms. Nahm because she always pushed me to do my work and read for the class. I also want to thank Ms. Orellana because she taught me how to read more.

I am not the same person I used to be, and I am excited to see how I can grow in the future. Thank you.


Learn more about Aviva’s 2015 Graduation Ceremony: Aviva High School Graduates Stand Proud and Strong

Read more speeches from graduates of Aviva High School’s Class of 2015: