Faith-Based Commencement Speech by Valedictorian Takes the Internet by Storm

During graduation season, commencement speakers share an abundance of words of wisdom. However, one particular speaker has gained viral attention for her remarkable address to her fellow classmates. Lydia Owens, the valedictorian of Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina, fearlessly integrated her faith into her speech.

Similar to many speeches, she commenced by recounting a hardship she faced and elucidating how she triumphed over it to reach her present position. “You are far more than the sum of your achievements,” she expressed emphatically. “If you base your identity solely on your accomplishments and believe your worth is contingent upon success, what happens when failure strikes?” Owens provocatively questioned her audience. “What occurs when financial resources are scarce or friendships are few?”


Owens disclosed that she underwent a profound “reality check” when her mother, whom she regarded as her closest confidante, passed away two years prior. “During the most trying time of my life, it was neither my grades nor my accolades that guided me through that loss,” she revealed. “When everything else felt uncertain, the one constant I could rely on was Jesus.” Owens further explained to WHNS that her mother served as her primary inspiration and “always nurtured my faith.”

“She’s the reason why my faith is so strong. She exemplified what it means to be a woman of God and how to love others with intention,” she added.

Continuing her address, the teenager emphasized how her perception of success dramatically transformed after losing her mother. “I realized that dedicating years of my life to academic pursuits held no significance in the grand scheme of eternity.”

Lydia’s speech deviated from the typical valedictorian speech, and yet, I wholeheartedly cherished it! It offered a fresh perspective on the meaning of success and the immense pressure we place upon ourselves to achieve.

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