Meet the outstanding students from the Class of 2013

Profiles in Excellence: Calvary Christian's Sam Gilmore

Sam is valedictorian for the Class of 2013.

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013  |  Updated 5:50 PM EDT
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Profiles in Excellence: Sam Gilmore

Calvary Christian Academy

Sam Gilmore addressed his fellow graduates for the Class of 2013.

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Sam Gilmore is the valedictorian for the Class of 2013 at Calvary Christian Academy in Philadelphia.

Sam made the school's High Honor Roll every year in high school.

He particpated in student government as a Class Representative and was responsible for charity fundraising drives as well as class unification. Sam is also a student-athlete. He was recognized as the Athlete/Scholar of 2012 in the Bicentennial Athletic League and in 2011 he won the Mayor's VIP Award for Academic Excellence.

In the fall, he will attend the University of Richmond where he plans to major in Microbiology so he can pursue a careeer in Opthalmology.


Upon Graduation Day

Now before I begin, I only have one shot at this, so if you could all just scooch in close together… [turns back to audience and takes picture using Instagram] Thank you all very much.

I have been given the distinct honor of delivering the valedictory speech to and for Calvary Christian Academy’s graduating class of 2013. However, before I begin my address to the graduating class of 2013, I would like to direct my, as well as my classmates’, overwhelming feelings of gratitude to our teachers and administrators as well as our beloved mentor and friend, Dr. Pennington. Without your love, guidance, and, as we all too often needed, your forgiveness, many of us would not be here today.

Even greater, however, must be our gratitude towards our parents on this day. Without the love of my parents… I would have had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. In all sincerity, our parents are the catalyst for all we have accomplished in these four years and beyond. They’ve put up with every fit of independence, every single striving to be free of the harrowing shackles that are on one side “adolescence” and the other “teen angst,” Mom I’m 18! I can do what I want! Not as long as you’re driving your father’s car! You said I could use the car whenever I wanted! Then pay for it!... I was never quite able to devise a witty come back to that one.

But let’s be honest, at one point or another, we have all needed a swift kick in the pants or we would have quit right then and there. Many of you, parents and children, are thinking of those moments right now, I’m sure. It is only thanks to the prayers, advice, consolation, and love of our parents and teachers that we receive our diplomas today, and for this, the Class of 2013 thanks you. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you, Mom.

Now, Class of 2013, Congratulations! Here we are, four years later, 17, 18, 19 years later. Given the various twists, turns, and trials we’ve faced to get here, I half-expected my Princess to be in another castle... Now, that reference was not for all of you, but alas, as I have been labeled by my girlfriend and society, I am a nerd. Ergo, I am standing before you now. However, I am standing before you with the weighty privilege of ushering in a new day in all of our lives with only a few words. So here we go…

If there were one idea I could leave with you today, something worthy of meditation that may both challenge and encourage you, I would remind you that We are called. Though you are sitting now, we stand on the precipice of the rest of our lives, staring out at a world that is impatiently waiting to devour us as soon as we take our next step. A world of opportunities is opening up before us; with diplomas in hand, the world is ours to shape, ours to mold, ours to take!... “If you will bow and worship me, I will give to you the whole world…” These were the words used in the greatest attempt at deceit in history. Now, do not misunderstand me! The world is ours to take, but the deceiver does not gift it to us. The world is given to us as Princes and Princesses, as Children of the King. Why then, should we bow our knee to anyone else but the Lord our God. And yet we are called from the ranks to receive it.

Even more than the world seeks to destroy us, however, it begs for our help. In sin, the world has been left desperately wanting and utterly broken. In this world, there is no true hope or love, only a desperate struggle for the next dollar, for the next drink, the next drug… there is no true success and there is no peace. THIS IS THE REASON for Calvary Christian Academy. We are trained to think, academically, yes. More importantly, however, we are now trained to think SPIRITUALLY. This is because we are called. We are charged with the great commission, to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to this world. Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Lawyers, Mechanics, Musicians, Businessman, we are all called to spread the mercy, the forgiveness, and the love of Christ Jesus.

This is neither an easy task, nor a brief commitment. And yet, We are called to go and serve. That is why you are surrounded by brothers and sisters, by fellow soldiers, by friends, by mentors, by family, and by angels. As you go, I wish for all of you beloved rivalries like I had with Micah, which push you to fight harder. I wish for you, friends who will laugh, cry, and pray with you. I wish for you the love and support I have experienced from my family, and I pray that you seek the Lord daily. The world is not before you, it is already yours! Now save it, because you are called to inherit it. Thank you.

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