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Let’s cheer on the class of 2020! The 2020 Graduation ceremony is now available for streaming above! When the video is playing, you can click the arrows button on the top right hand corner to play the video in full screen. Congratulations class of 2020!
O Canada! - Canada's National Anthem
Mr. Stephen Goobie's Speech Principal
To you here on campus, from those watching in the local community and all those spread out over many native lands in the world, parents, relative, friends, staff, students, special guests and of course, our graduates, I thank you for joining us. No matter where you are, feel the ground under your feet right now. This ground, this planet unites us. Today you are one class and we are one school.
It is your graduation day. This one is different and let me tell you. These grads are different. These are the grads who have overcome. While past graduates have faced challenges, you grads of 2020 surpassed them all. While the world seemingly fell apart, you stood your ground. When a threat spread throughout our communities, consuming lives and well-being, you held your own. These are the grads who overcame fear, who kept each other safe, who were patient, kind, who made tough decisions. Stay or go. Risk or more risk. While the world stopped, you braved the unknown of flights and tenuous borders to journey home. While the world stayed home, you stayed at school and stayed and stayed. While school stopped, you discovered new tools to keep your learning going and to take it deeper.
Throughout the year and recent days while others were silent when injustice was done, you spoke up and let us see your courage. While it seemed impossible, you didn’t give up, you persevered. As shaky as it was you stood your ground and became like giants. Grad of 2020 here and all over the world, while this is different than the year you expected, you have gained one precious gift and that is to appreciate each other. Friendships, family, a hello in the hallway, handshakes, haircuts, hugs and all being in the same time zone. I can say with confidence, this is the greatest grad class in the history of Bodwell. Congratulations to each of you on your expectational accomplishments. This is your day, this is your moment, you have earned it.
Mr. Andrew Petters's Speech President of Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Hello, I’m Andrew Petter, President of Simon Fraser University. It’s a privilege to be invited to share some words at this years virtual graduation ceremony.
In doing so, I thought I turn the wisdom of one of my favorite philosophers, a man named Yogi Berra. Yogi was a catcher for the New York Yankees back in the 1950s. And he was known for his unique way of saying things: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”; “You can observe a lot just by watching”; “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Just a few of my favorites. Yogi died some years ago, but he left us one piece of wisdom that I think is especially relevant today. “The future,” Yogi said “ain’t what it used to be.” Now, think about that for a minute. When you started your final year at Bodwell High School, I am sure the future you imagined didn’t include a virtual graduation ceremony in the midst of a global pandemic. But the future took a turn few of us saw coming and as a result. Well, it isn’t what it used to be. That doesn’t mean we have no power to shape the future. Yogi knew that we do – that we can influence the journey we’re on, and that our individual choices do make a difference. That’s implicit in another famous Yogism: “When you come to a fork in the road, be sure to take it.” Well, with this graduation, you’ve come to an important fork in your road.
Your time at Bodwell High School, and the next steps you take in your education, provide you the opportunity – as citizens in an interconnected and interdependent world – to build a better future for yourself and for the broader community. That’s the gift of education, not only to improve your own lives, but to enable you to help improve the lives of others. And as I think about all of you today, I am filled with confidence and hope.
I want to thank you for your hard work and resolve getting to this day in a very challenging time. And I want to acknowledge everyone who helped you along the way, including your family, friends and the incredible faculty and staff at Bodwell High School. And to those of you attending Simon Fraser University (SFU) in September, we can’t wait to welcome you. In the meantime, wherever you are in the world today, enjoy this moment. You have earned it. Congratulations to you all.
Ms. Bowinn Ma's Speech North Vancouver MLA
Dear Bodwell graduates,
Congratulations on graduating during a global pandemic. I know that this probably is not the kind of graduation that you dreamed about when you were thinking of completing your high school career.
But I know also that you are truly among the most unique graduating classes in living memory. It has been a rough year so far. Hasn’t it? On top of everything that normal goes on in the lives of young adults like you, we are also living in a world still very much captured by global pandemic. I know that many of you are concerned about the health and safety of your family and friends, both in your home countries and right here in Canada.
We’ve also watched as racial tension have flared up in recent weeks. Not only down in America, but here as well. I know that the rapid rise of anti-Asian racism as well as important conversations about anti-black and anti-indigenous racism will have startled many of you, who have come to know Canada as a multicultural, diversity loving nation. But these are the important reminders for all of us that Canada too has work to do to become better. As an international community of students, you know how truly connected we all are and you know the value in diversity. As well as how much we really are the same.
Your presence here in BC makes us all better and I want to thank you for your courage and your patience through all of this. Thank you for doing your part by following the rules set out for you by your teachers and principals. I know that it isn’t easy for energetic teens to stay in their dorms and homes most of the time. However, by doing so you have helped us here in British Columbia to flatten the curve on COVID-19.
For those of you who have returned home, I want you to take care to stay healthy and safe wherever you might be. And know though you might be far away from each other, we are all facing the storm together and there is strength in reaching out when you need help and offering it to others when you are able.
Now you will go forward into adulthood. And even though you probably won’t need it. I wish you all the best as you find your place in making this world better for everyone.
Congratulations Bodwell class of 2020.
Mr. Paul Yuen's Speech President of Bodwell High School
First, my earnest congratulations to Class of 2020, and to your parents too!
Grads, soon entering adulthood, even in normal times, you may be quite worried and even scared about the future. You must have been feeling even more this year from this experienced you have gone though. I would like to tell you that you are not alone. Not only young people like you, older people like me have lots of questions and fears about the future after the pandemic.
Why do we encourage and help you to learn English? We are in a worldwide trial in front of not only COVID-19, but also climate change, global inequality and geo-political tensions. They are challenges on the global level. People of one country cannot overcome them without the cooperation of others. We are interdependent. And English, not necessarily the only superior language the humankind has created but, is realistically now the most common language people around the world can use to better understand each other and cooperate to overcome such shared challenges.
Why do we encourage and help you to learn natural sciences? We are confronted with not only the deterioration of our ecosystem but also the resulting vulnerability of human life with the overburden of it. How wrong have so many of us arrogantly believed that we are supreme masters of the nature? With the knowledge of natural science, and with a humble heart towards the nature, human beings must find a new harmony living side by side with it, letting it serve our needs within its capacity, and protecting it.
Why do we encourage and help you to learn humanities? COVID-19 shows us how terrible it can be to waste our lives pursuing luxurious lifestyle and dominance over others. How terrible it really is, not to recognize the value in the people closer to or farther from us, including those of different cultures, races, and nationalities. How terrible it is not to give our lives better meaning, by honoring all living things with the respect, sensitivity, and care that they deserve. History, literature, and social studies give us insights to these questions.
Be brave, grads. We, as global citizens, are heading into uncharted waters, and the journey ahead will not be easy. We need a renewed set of global orders and values. But the responsibility to steer the future world is now rested on you. Class of 2020, be brave to take on these challenges!
Guest Speaker Mr. Jeff Liao's Speech Class of 1998 Graduate
Dear class 2020, This is Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao , class 1998, recorded from New York City. In 1999, I left Vancouver and came to New York City for my BFA and MFA in photography. Since then, I have been a full-time artist for the last 15 years.
Our world is not in good shape, many issues are happening, such as a pandemic, systemic racism, economic recession, and failed leadership. But looking at the bright side, it is a great time for the students, especially high school graduates to reflect on your priorities and to further pursue and refine one’s passion and dream.
Most of you have the privilege to continue your education. It is time to figure out who you are? What you are capable of? What you really want to do in your life? These are lifetime questions and it is the right time for you to start thinking and searching.
In this competitive society, it is not always easy to achieve your goals. In my career, failure and disapproval happen very often. Life is not always wonderful and it will not always follow your will. Therefore, class 2020, please find out what you good at, and what is the most meaningful career for you.
During COVID 19 pandemic, I was sent out by the New Yorker magazine to photograph my neighborhood, Queens, New York. It was the ground zero of this pandemic in New York City. There was fear in the air. Unfortunately and also luckily, my symptoms were light. It took me 14 days to battle with the virus and another couple of weeks to recuperate back to normal. Our lifestyle will change after this pandemic, wearing masks, and social distancing will become the new normal.
In 1997, when I was a student at Bodwell. There was an Asian Financial Crisis that meltdown worldwide economy. A lot of my classmates were forced to leave school and move back to their countries. In 2001, there were the September 11 attacks, which triggered worldwide terrorist attacks. Fear and precaution changed the immigration system and the way we travel. The 2008 Great Recession damaged the world economy again. Now there is a pandemic that leads us to a new unknown stage. There are constant changes in the world, and as history has taught us, mankind has always learned to get back up from the darkest days. As international school students, you are more equipped to adapt. The education you have received allows you to be more perceptive. You have learned to care for other’s cultures and beliefs and also learned to protect your own. All of these have taught you to be one with your environment. I have no doubt that you will all prevail through these changing and challenging times.
Be safe and healthy.
Mr. Santa Ono's Speech President of University of British Columbia (UBC)
Good evening everyone,
My name is Santa Ono, I am President of the University of British Columbia.
I’d like to congratulate all of the Bodwell graduates. I know that some of you will be coming to U.B.C. next year and I look forward to meeting you on campus in person. But whether you intend to come to U.B.C., another university, or pursue a totally different path, I know that you will do well.
You see, I love graduation. Thinking of graduating students and their proud families always fills me with hope for the future. Graduation is a time to imagine the world ahead, and what it will be like. When you think about the road ahead you may gain perspective by looking back to where you have been.
I know that recent months have been challenging, especially for young people like yourselves just starting out on your life’s journey, but I encourage you to persevere and don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Your teachers and administrators, your parents and others are there to help you.
Stay curious, stay engaged, things will get better. The skills that you are acquiring through online learning will be very useful in the future. Congratulations! I will be rooting for you every step of the way!
Yashar's Speech Class of 2020 Valedictorian
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening,
I would like to welcome my friends, classmates, peers, faculty, parents and guests watching us online all around the world. To the class 2020, we are finally graduating. We have worked hard for 12 years to earn our diploma and are now to the next well-deserved stage of life. But this year’s graduation 2020 is so unique and unlike anything that we have ever known. We are graduating in a completely different way that we have
Ever hoped for or imagined. Although this year is not ending the way we expected, my hope for all of us is that we can remember all the great memories we built together during the past years.
Personally, I remember my first day at Bodwell. It was December 30th, 2017. A rainy day of course. I remember going to my dorm room. There were sock hanging down the bed, noodles here and there. And of course, loud Spanish music. I thought to myself, this place is a little crazy. I remember my first day at school writing the placement test and sitting as a grade 9 student in a class among some of you. I never thought how we are standing here 3 years later as your valedictorian. But here I am and thank you very much for choosing me this years’ grad class representative.
There were good times and there were bad times over the past few years. But looking back I realize I enjoyed every single moment with you guys. This past September, we entered our senior year and it was full of fun and exciting moments. We’ve had many amazing memories this past year. The boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams did amazing and fun was had by the players and the fans. The boys’ soccer team was very exciting to watch. Some of our classmates, represented Bodwell at the provincial level in swimming. Most recently, we were part of the basketball season, as we saw this school come together to cheer on our teams. We witnessed Sprint house winning for the first time in our house competition this past Fall and I don’t think we will ever forget running back to Bodwell, so we didn’t miss curfew. Having fun on the Seabus and spending time together in English Bay, Granville Street, Yaletown and Ambleside.
I know this is not the way we thought our senior year will end. We were expecting to walk across the stage today, shake hands with the faculty and receive our diploma. See our loved ones sitting in the gym with us. On that day, we thought we would hear it from our parents that how proud they are from us. We thought, we would get to finally go to prom, so we can ask our crash for a dance. Hug our friends for 10 minutes and say goodbye to them. We thought we would get to have fun like all the other grad classes before us. Unfortunately, it’s not happening like that. We are not walking on the stage today and we only said goodbye to our friends with FaceChat. We like all the other grad classes across the world are in the same situation. We are not alone and we will get through this.
Thanks to COVID-19 our lives have changed. We are now officially part of history. Do not let the memory of this past few months over that all the good memories we build together at Bodwell High School. Let’s change. Our perspective and understand the situation, because we are entering into a new era with many new opportunities. How we face these challenges and opportunities will be something that we will remember as we grow. One simple thing that we can be proud of during this unusual time is our ability to persevere. We did not give up despite all the challenges over the past few months. We are learning how to become adoptable to this unforeseen and let’s be honest, very stressful situation. We will need the skills in our first years of university and beyond. I know university will be difficult, but I am sure we can get through it. Because if we can get through a pandemic, we can make it through anything.
Recently I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a video of Matthew McConaughey. He said some things that inspired me, and I wanted to share it with you guys. He said when I was younger a person asked me, “who is your hero?”. I said, “it’s me in ten years”. So, I turned 25, ten years later and the same person comes to me and asks “so, are you a hero?” and I was like “no, no, no, not even close”. She asked “why?”. I said “because my hero is me at 35“. So you see, every day, every week, every month and every year of my life my hero is always 10 years away. I know I am never going to be my hero and that is just fine with me. Because that gives me somebody to keep chasing. This quote reminded me that we all need to keep chasing our goals, our dreams and our heros.
Before finishing, I would like to acknowledge and thank some people. I am sure a thank you is not enough for all the things my parents have done for me, but thank you. I love you! I would like to thank the teachers, counsellors, kitchen staff, cleaning staff, homestay parents, and boarding staff. Thank you to Ms. Lee and Mr. Yuen. I would like to thank my friends, because they are my family now. Especially, I would like to thank my fellow graduates for being part of my life for the past 3 years. In closing, lets make this upcoming year the best ever. Keep up with your studies and party hard. Thank you!
Ms. Cathy Lee's Speech Director of School Development and Former Principal
Last December, when I first saw your grad sweaters showing the number 2020, I like it a lot and find the 4 numbers round and circular, pleasant looking and memorable. It is now turning into the most unprecedented year of modern history, and with eventful situations happening by the day. Only in the last week we witnessed on TV the protests of 1000s of average citizens in dozens of US cities and in Toronto. All voices come to a unison that black lives matter and we need to work hard to fight systemic racism.
A few weeks ago, I watched Daniil Polishchuk’s video on how he views race as cultural difference, portraying his learning and activities through the school. His teachers and fellow students like it. I can’t agree with him more. That is exactly what we experience here in Bodwell – racial and cultural diversity. We embrace it and we try to bring the best out from each one of you, each one of us.
That’s what education should be – bringing out the personal best in each person including developing knowledge and skills, our moral compass and the determination to serve others and the community.
I often think about how a blacksmith makes a knife or a sword from a piece of iron. He needs to identify a clear purpose what he is going to design and make, then find the best elements to add to it and go through a desirable process. Imagine one of you hoping to be a doctor or another graduate thinking of becoming a lawyer. A surgeon needs a wealth of knowledge, developing a pair of skillful hands and getting the accurate surgeon knife. A court lawyer needs to have a wise assessment of the case and needs to sharpen his arguments. Everyone of us need to develop knowledge and skills to understand another person and every single situation, and that’s the goal to continue sharpening our critical thinking and our judgement.
I know you are at this junction making a big turning point. Like the other speakers who fondly talk to you today, I wish that you continue this active process of knowing yourselves and knowing the world around you and dedicate efforts to sharpen your judgement and your skills in your journey ahead. I am so proud of you and my best wishes for your future!