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Becoming helpers more applicable today

By Staff | Jun 16, 2021

MUNCY – The graduation speech by Valedictorian Rory Oden of Muncy High School of 2021. (Edited)

Rory Oden’s first reflection was on Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the familiar children’s television show. “Mr. Rogers was a man of many words, songs, cardigans, and puppets. He inspired a generation of todays young adults.” Quoting from one of his episodes, she said, “Often when you think your at the end of something, your at the beginning of something else.”

Another quote from Mr. Rogers great life lessons was, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.’ You will always find people who are helping.'” Oden finds this especially applicable to all that is happening in today’s news, seeing many helpers this year. “The most obvious were nurses and doctors, but teachers, counselors, and parents were always there to help with online learning. The custodians and lunch staff who worked extra hard this year, sanitizing the school and ensuring we were fed. The administrative staff kept us informed and did a lot of planning, preparation, and contact tracing behind the scenes,” she said.

Emphasizing the future, Oden said, “As we leave this institution we should strive to become these “helpers,” using our knowledge, voices and reasoning to help others.” As a result, we all are mosaics of all those who have influenced us. Mr. Rogers and his lessons on loving your neighbor taught us to be a better, kinder people. As he said, “Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest people.”

Kudos went to parents, family, and teachers. Oden believes its important to note that when the past ends, it begins with the present and when the present ends, the future begins, this being a crucial destination. “Presently, we graduate. Our future is up to us, and today is a new beginning. We will make mistakes along the way, but we’ll be able to say, “I Lived.“”