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Sarah Strauss: The future is ours

We embarked on our high school odyssey in the midst of Russia’s election investigation, Adele’s last tour, and the Great American Solar Eclipse.

Since then, our high school career has been punctuated by homecoming dances, sports games, academic competitions, and band, orchestra, and choir concerts. It has been filled with JM Gives fundraisers to Relay for Life and Christmas Anonymous, and with an international reckoning of equal rights; the rise of TikTok, and the unveiling of several political and ethical quandaries.

Throughout that time, we have been told that we are a JM family. Some of us have wholeheartedly embraced that notion, but others have rejected the idea that a family can be over 1,000 people strong and still feel cohesive. What I’ve come to recognize is that we are a JM Family. And just like a family we argue, we don’t do things the same way, and we will all go on our own paths and may never look back.

But I’ve also realized that at this point, in this way, we are all connected forever.

So whether you were in person these last few weeks or distance learning, whether you played a sport or were in a club, whether you were in band, choir, or orchestra; you’ve made an impact at JM. Our John Marshall High School legacy will be that of a class whose experience was marred by international and local tragedies, but persevered in the face of failure.

So, at the culmination of our shared time together, I ask that you reflect on all that JM has taught you both in and out of the classroom and use that to go out there and do good.

The future is what you make it; the future is ours.

Sarah Strauss is a top senior graduating from John Marshall High School.

Read more Rochester graduation speeches:

James Kung: Victory

Maimuna Aden: The power we wield

Marissa Ding: COVID can’t take our Rocket Pride

Sonia Teh: You are not alone

Zuri Cofer: Explore and take risks

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