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There are no limitations to success, Bedford graduates are told

Union Leader Correspondent

June 16. 2018 9:56PM
From left, Quinn Davis, Jillian Collins and Jennifer Barbuto celebrate during Saturday's graduation ceremony at Bedford High School. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)

BEDFORD - Success cannot be defined by one single accomplishment, but rather a lifetime of attempts, failures and mastery, local graduates were told on Saturday.

The Bedford High School Class of 2018 said farewell to its past 12 years in the school district, and was urged during Saturday's graduation ceremony to reflect, appreciate and look ahead.

"The way you and I define success is different," said Kate Gavilanes, who received the senior class leadership and mission award.

She reminded fellow graduates that as they enter the world beyond Bedford to remember the things and the people that they love, and to do what makes them smile - even if it means failing throughout the journey.

"The goal of life is to do what makes you happy, not what makes you one of the best," said Gavilanes.

In a world full of competition and challenges, life will be hard, she said, stressing the need to be fearless and take frequent leaps of faith in order to get back up after falling.

"Around every corner there is a story waiting to be told," Gavilanes told the 352 graduates.

Principal Bill Hagen described the senior class as a group of responsible and respectful leaders who will tackle the future head-on with a positive impact and a profound influence.

He asked the graduates to draw upon what they have learned in the halls of Bedford High School to understand that people have differences, and their successes will be varied.

Hagen said there is no standard for success, but that success can be measured in different ways, including the respect of others, the ability to listen, persevering despite limits and falling in love.

"Know that it is going to be challenging," he told the senior class, reminding them that not every moment will be easy or enjoyable. Still, Hagen told them to embrace the future while never forgetting the experiences that brought them to this moment, which have defined them up to this point.

The graduates now face an awesome responsibility, according to Hagen, who urged them to treat others with kindness and respect, and to accept the differences of others as they head off in varied career paths.

About $75,000 in scholarships were distributed to Class of '18 graduates throughout the past week, said Hagan, who thanked the parents, teachers and students for preparing the seniors for their future.

"We have learned so many valuable lessons together," said Ishaan Chatterjee, class president. "I have never been so proud of anything in my entire life."

For a generation known for its memes and rarely taking 'no' for an answer, Chatterjee said the graduates will undoubtedly continue to express their tenacity and curiosity with a dash of daring on the side.

"I am proud of us, of what we have become and what we will be in the future," he added.

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