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Meet John-Derrick Marroquin Havelock High Salutatorian
Havelock High School is Honored to Announce John-Derick Marroquin, Salutatorian
Proudly, Craven County Schools is featuring this year’s remarks delivered by the valedictorian and salutatorian during graduation at each of our traditional high schools and Craven Virtual Academy. Havelock High School is honored to announce John-Derick Marroquin as the Salutatorian for the class of 2023. John-Derick presented his speech during this year’s commencement, held at Sasser Field on Friday, June 9th to the graduating class of 2023 and to the families, staff, and community members in attendance. For those unable to attend the Havelock High Graduation Ceremony, please enjoy Mr. Marroquin’s speech, and hopefully, this provides a brief opportunity for you to get to know him a little bit better.
Good morning, graduates, and a warm welcome to all the friends and families who are gathered here to celebrate this significant milestone in our lives. It was through your love, time, and encouragement, that have shaped people in front of me, into who you see today. We have all put in countless hours of work, and today, it's finally paying off.
Before I continue, I would like to introduce myself, not only to the friends and family members who have traveled here but also to the graduates; to the people who might not be familiar with me. My name is John-Derick Marroquin, and I stand before you today as a fellow graduate, honored to share the stage with you. Today, my focus is going to be on sharing some pieces of advice. And although I know that listening to advice from an 18-year-old might not always be the best idea, I believe that everyone can offer advice, either better or worse than my own.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” These profound words by Winston Churchill have given me a new perspective on my expectations coming out of high school. Failure is inescapable, but what separates someone from the rest is the ability to fail forward. As soon as we shift our perception of failure from defeat to an opportunity to grow, we can see that failure is an integral part of success. There is going to be a point in our lives where we are going to fail. Being achievers, we should view this as a momentary event. It is important to not dwell on failures and to move on and learn from your mistakes.
As we look forward, the road ahead looks different for all of us. You don’t know how many bumps, potholes, twists, and turns you are going to discover along this road, but above all, it is important that you persevere and never give up. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” During this journey, do not give anyone a reason to look down upon you. Instead, strive to set an example that inspires others to look up to you. Allow me to leave you with this thought: approach the rest of your lives as a winner. Write down every success, award, or accomplishment you receive, and remind yourself that you are a winner. Regardless of where this road takes you, persevere until you reach the end and find fulfillment.
In conclusion, I want to thank God, for the blessings and provisions He has given me and will continue to give me throughout my life. All my successes and victories have come solely through Him. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the teachers and faculty, from elementary to high school, for it is through your knowledge and wisdom that we have acquired the tools necessary for the rest of our lives. Also, I would like to thank our band director, Mr. Benitez, for pushing us to be the best person we can be, and for providing students at Havelock High School with the gift of music. Lastly, I would like to personally thank Mr. Scarfpin, our engineering teacher, whose guidance has laid a strong foundation within myself and others, preparing us for the future. Well with that being said, this is Francis, signing off, and congratulations to the class of 2023.