Reflections on friends, hardships and 4 years of high school

July 1, 2019 | OPB News

This year’s high school graduates were born after the dawn of the new millennium. Some have dealt with school shootings. Others helped organize demonstrations to speak out against gun violence or climate change. We’ve reported on how college students are becoming more “nontraditional” than we think, but high school students—through social media and their experience—are also becoming more nontraditional.

So what’s on the minds of these 18-year-olds gearing up to face the adult world? Many of them—valedictorians, class presidents and others—talked about their hopes and dreams in the speeches they made at graduation.

This year, the NPR Ed team—and member stations across the country—traveled throughout the U.S. to hear those speeches from the final moments of high school. Here’s what some of them had to say.

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