I was selected to be a speaker for my high school graduation, and I was given 2 minutes to speak. The theme was "Dare to dream." The transcript is below.
Students, teachers, parents, friends -- it is my honor to address you all this afternoon. We convene on this occasion not to lament the end of one journey, but to celebrate the commencement of many more to come. I believe I stand before you not to give a speech, but to share a truth: the truth that everyone here has the courage to dream. And I hope I can deliver my message by telling you a bit about myself.
In case you never knew, I have a disorder called Tourette Syndrome, which causes me to twitch uncontrollably and to make silly noises. Believe me; it's awkward when people think you're breakdancing in the middle of Penn Station. That said, I've faced everything from the concerns of parents and teachers to the open slander of kids I didn't even know. I felt hopeless, and I started to worry about college, marriage, and whatever lies beyond that. But slowly, I came to realize that, as powerless as I was concerning my condition, the power to dream still resided in me, just like how it resides in each of you. And I planted the dream that one day, I would be able to inspire people, to help people, and to improve the lives of people. My friends, you are witnessing the fruition of that dream. That dream supports me on this stage today. That dream prevents me from running away in fear and embarrassment. That dream enables me to speak these words without a moment of hesitation. So no matter how wearied you are with age, how burdened you are with labor, or how stressed you are with income, remember that you are never too old, too weak, or too poor to dream. Remember that a dream originates not from physical ability or from our emotional sanity, but from our human capacity. Thank you.