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             Eviers, faculty, honored guests, friends and family, and the class of 2003. Every morning of my senior year as I journeyed into Manhattan on the Staten Island ferry, I began to think of what I could say in my speech as valedictorian. While this is an honor achieved by me, I feel that I am the voice of my classmates. I wanted to make this speech as meaningful to everyone, as it is to me. Then I thought, what better way to address everyone personally, than through the form of a letter. And so I will begin: .
             Dear fellow Michaelite,.
             What can I say? You and I arrived at SMA in the fall of 1999. We were so young and excited, yet slightly sophomoric. And now having shared the past four years together, experiencing the highs and lows, joys and sorrows, and the good and bad, we have grown and matured into responsible, independent young women who are capable of taking on the 21st century. We have made more than friends at SMA, but a close-knit group of sisters. I feel that you and I have left an incredible mark on St. Michael Academy's history and in some way have contributed to its legacy. We each hold a special memory of SMA. One of my favorites being when witty ole Mr. Gagliardi moon walked perfectly across the room, leaving the entire class in laughter. .
             However, the time has now come to leave behind the already fading days and venture into the world beyond. As Lao-tzu (lou-zoo) once said, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." And as we take that gigantic leap into the first stages of adulthood, we should look upon this challenge with an open mind. .
             The world holds thousands upon thousands of opportunities available to you and me, yet it is our responsibility to seize and make use of them. The universe cannot promise us anything, but we can promise ourselves to strive for the absolute best. Life will definitely throw us a hard ball every so often, but with our eyes on the prize and God at hand, neither of us shall ever fall.

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