Most of the impactful and sentimental speeches are given in high school graduation. If you are looking for inspiration for speeches where you will make a mark in history and create a significant impact among your fellow peers, then you have come to the right place. In this article, after in-depth research, I have enlisted the top 10 high school graduation speeches which will move you, help you build your speech, and create a huge impact.
I restrained myself from suggesting the speeches given by Obama, Oprah, and other celebrities in high school graduation. We will dig into students’ raw, clean addresses and not by celebrities hiring people to write speeches. So are you ready to make a speech that is humorous, heartfelt, and honest? Let us look into the top speeches and take inspiration from them.
1. Florida’s Rance Musco: A Student with Autism from Riverdale High
Rance Musco is a young high school student who was diagnosed with autism at three years old. The speech will totally move you on how he portrays the theme of endurance by advocating a beautiful and eloquent speech. He was informed by his parents and many doctors that he would soon decline into a vegetative state since his speech and motor skills were deteriorating. But in this speech, he proved himself to be a top-rated speaker, and this story is very inspiring to people to not give up on themselves even if the whole world goes against them.
2. Texas’ Larissa Martinez: A Young Woman from McKinney Boyd High
Well, this speech put everyone on the pedestal as Larissa Martinez, in her graduation speech in front of everyone, proclaimed to be an undocumented immigrant. The video of this speech got viral, and it put the whole country in shock since the police treatment of undocumented immigrants is brutal. In the speech, she goes on how the systematic oppression against her and the immigrants has caused her misfortunes. She further says how she has been waiting for nearly seven years for her application to be processed for immigration. Even after all the trouble she faced due to her abusive alcoholic father, racism, and other oppression, the way she climbed to the top is very inspiring and moving.
3. Pennsylvania’s Josh Shikoff: A Class President from Council Rock High
Well, one of the major reasons this high school speech went viral was due to the fact that people thought it was funny that Josh Shikoff made a parody of an English pop song sung by Adele, “Hello.” After planning to go to Penn State for the fall, he showcases in the parody how he wants his parents to pay his tuition fee for the college. The speech is a unique way to blow off the steam and have a few laughs instead of going through the same monotonous contemporary high school speeches.
4. YouTube Star Chandler Wilson: A Teen from Virginia’s Manchester High
The speech was given by a young youtube celebrity Chandler Wilson who completely shifted his goal towards becoming a foreign filmmaker. Initially, Chandler wanted to become a veterinarian, but after taking a Spanish immersion program where he learned about historical and cultural studies, Chandler got completely moved. In this speech, he showcases how his passion for filmmaking and his love for historical learning are intertwined and pivots his career path by doing something he loves. This speech is motivating since it gives people the motivation to do something which they love.
5. Pennsylvania’s Kevin Martinez: A Young Man at the Milton Hershey School
If you are lost and feel the outside world will not understand what you are going through then, the speech given by Kevin Martinez from Pennsylvania will give you hope. Kevin started off his speech showcasing how his father was incarcerated when he was 8 years old. Since he had to carry a lot of responsibilities right from a very young age, he couldn’t follow any of his dreams. But the story goes on about how he pursued his dream to study and how the school helped him achieve the courage to follow his dream. This inspirational and thought-provoking speech on how education is important to find purpose in life.
6. Florida’s Evan Barber: Teen from Marianna High’s
The Jack Wagon speech became very viral after Evan Barber made a very humorous yet thoughtful speech at this graduation. The speech revolved around how kindness is important in one’s life to sustain a happy and formidable journey. He used humorous analogies and statements to deliver the message. He said, “Jesus preached it, Shakespeare wrote about it, but famed vampire hunter Abraham Lincoln summed it up best when he said ‘ ‘Don’t be a Jack Wagon.’’ He implies that a jackwagon is someone who will bully, be rude, and be selfish. It is a great speech on how to preach kindness and make this world a better one.
7. Oregon’s Meghana Mysore: Lake Oswego Graduate
If you are looking for a speech that will give you the courage to express yourself in the world, then Meghana Mysore’s remarkable graduation speech is the best choice to take inspiration. She goes on to say how she used to be so quiet in school right from 3rd grade where she wouldn’t open her mouth since she thought she had nothing worthwhile to say. But soon, she started participating in sports, extracurricular activities to execute self-expression, and the pathway was challenging. The story is very moving because even though it does not seem like a huge deal for many of them, this is an issue most high school students face in their life, and self-expression is something that will boost their confidence and help them find their individuality.
8. Toni Odufuye’s Advice: To “Give Light”
If you are looking for more recent inspiration, then Toni Odufuye’s remarkable graduation speech in 2020 will definitely give you everything you need. The speech is regarding how a simple smile can help a person light up their day. The concept of the speech is to “give light” and spread kindness everywhere you go since a simple gesture can provide a lot of impact on someone’s life. This is an important message to provide for not only students but every single person in this world since the world is losing its values and wisdom. People are so rude to everyone, and this should be changed and light them with purpose through kindness.
9. Elizabeth Rodriguez’s Heartfelt Message : Thanks & Strength
We saw a lot of stories which included a lot of striges, misfortunes and many other issues, but this speech is not to inspire you to work hard or follow your passion. Elizabeth sends a beautiful message where she asks everyone to slow down a bit and acknowledge the beauty of the present. When she said, “Everyone’s struggles and story may be different, but I am here to tell you all that you are loved, talented, ambitious, tenacious, and beautiful,” it made the whole crowd go into tears. This is a unique way to deliver a speech since inspiring speeches aren’t the only one that moves people.
10. Evan Young’s Speech: Funny Yet Moving Speech
Evan Young’s speech was a hilarious roller coaster which made the 2015 valedictorian speech very popular in their high school. Initially, Evan was barred from giving a speech since he planned to come out as gay in his graduation speech. The speech started with how he implied that he is gay and how that is going to let change nothing. Evan spreads the message of how empathy, kindness, and compassion will help people live their life. The stereotypical issues gays face in the world were acknowledged in a funny and satirical manner which makes Evan’s speech very memorable.