Paideia 8th Grade Promotion – Scholar Speeches

Paideia 8th Grade Promotion – Scholar Speeches

A significant part of the Paideia way is nurturing scholars to find their personal voices.

It comes from years of digging deep into their conscience and thinking critically about the information presented by text and teachers.  These 8th grade scholars have not yet fully found their voices but they have discovered that they have a voice! That is the first step!

Please enjoy these speeches. Understand that the words and wisdom comes from the hearts and minds of 12 and 13 year-old boys and girls on the verge of entering adulthood.


Dr. Winsor

Edubiel Torres Dominguez

My name is Edubiel Torres. First and foremost, I would like to thank you all for giving me the opportunity tonight to say something profound and memorable, it is truly an honor to be giving this speech, even though it felt like a punishment while I was trying to write it.  I would also like to thank all the parents who have supported their sons and daughters throughout their elementary and middle school careers, I am sure you are extremely proud of your sons and daughters tonight. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to congratulate the first ever 8th grade scholars of Paideia and the future graduating class of 2021. After tonight we will have all officially promoted to high school, a new page in our life. A blank page full of opportunity. Even though we all may have different interests and goals, we all have at least one thing in common -the pursuit of education and knowledge. This year we have truly been blessed with amazing teachers who have temporary embarked with us on our endless quest for knowledge and have also empowered and encouraged us to strive further and exceed our limits. You may have asked or wondered why I said, “our endless quest for knowledge” and that is simple. Albert Einstein once said, “the moment you stop learning, you start dying.”

Thank you for your time

Bridgette Longoria

Good evening, my name is Bridgette Longoria. I began attending Paideia in 5th grade. During 7th grade I was so sad when I had to leave, since at that time there was no Junior Academy here. This year, I was highly honored to be welcomed back to Paideia after Dr. Winsor worked tirelessly to create the new Jr. Academy. With amazing gratitude, I stand here today as the first 8th grade class to promote.

Before I came to Paideia I didn’t care about a legacy or even showing my voice, however as I have grown older and become more involved with Paideia I have become more aware. I discovered that when finding your voice, you don’t find something new inside of you; instead you find a little more of you. What I found a little more of was perseverance through basketball, which led me to have more confidence. This confidence and perseverance will carry me to high school where I can face any new challenges and remain confident in who I am. I encourage you all to do the same.
Thank you for your time.

Adrianna Anaya

Robin Sharma once said, “today, live your truth. Play your best game. Listen to the trusted voice that resides deep within you. And show some genuine leadership.”

We are constantly told what to think, what to say and what to feel. We rarely get to even hear that voice inside of us, but that voice is with us throughout all our lives. The sooner we begin listening to it, the sooner we will live our truth and happiness and the sooner we begin listening to it, the sooner we will live our truth and happiness.

Living our truth means that we all get to follow the path we want. Some of us may become athletes, some of us may become doctors, and some of us may even become teachers. What’s cool is it’s all our choice. Listen to the inner voice about what speaks to you. Follow that. If you enjoy reading about finances, stocks and investments, read more or maybe just talk to Eddie! If you want to hack computers, learn about it or chat with Aidan. Maybe you want to build amazing buildings, so does Jimena! So, start a study group with her! Maybe you want to do all of that and that’s awesome too!  Whatever it is, follow it, become the expert at it, and make the world a better place.

Thank you, parents, friends and teachers for listening to my speech. I am glad I got to share this school year with these people that are trying to find and show their voice. Have a good rest of your day.


Antony (AJ) de’Shay

Hi, my name is AJ de’Shay.  Tonight, I want to talk to you about what it means to find your voice. Finding your voice can be hard and often times scary but finding your voice, means finding the COURAGE to be who you were made to be. Many great leaders such as Dr. Martyn Luther King Junior, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and even our amazing former president, Barack Obama went to extraordinary lengths to find their voices. Those great leaders had to learn to be true to themselves and believe in their purpose and destiny even when others had doubt or couldn’t see their dream or vision.

However, believing in your self is only the beginning. You must also learn to always be your authentic self. Being your genuine and authentic self means that you must have the discipline and willpower to do the right thing even when no one is watching and even in very tough situations. Finding your voice means embracing who you are and embracing all the different and unique things that make you special and ultimately one of a kind. I have a disability but I never once used my autism as a barrier or an excuse to not do my very best. I am different than most of my peers, and guess what, that’s OK because the one thing I know in my heart is that I am made in HIS divine image and likeness and that in itself is special! As Shakespeare wrote in his play Hamlet, act one, scene three.  the character Polonius says this to his son:

This above all

to thine own self

be true

There once was a quote on my wall that I looked at every morning when I woke up. It told me that I could do anything, and that quote stated, “dream until your dreams comes true”. What that meant to me was that dreams are out there ready to come true. Dreams aren’t just something you think up in your imagination, they’re there for you to hold onto until they become a reality.  Dreams are yours to make, not for other people to make for you. Nobody can tell you who to be or what they want from you. People don’t turn you into something that you’re not – you make your own you, your own challenges, your own legend.

Tonight, I would like to leave with you some very simple words written by none other than Dr. Seuss which echoes my sentiments on how you too can find your voice.

Dr. Seuss wrote:

Today you are you.

That is truer than true.

There is no one alive who is youer than you!

Thank you for your time.

Osmari Castillo Martinez

Hi, my name is Osmari Castillo Martinez and I have found my voice.

There are many reasons why our voices may be silenced. We could be silenced for being a minority, for being a female, or even for being young. However, we might rise above the numerous things that try to choke our voices out. We must stand firm and who we are and our place in the world.

In high school, we will face infinitely more challenges than elementary school ever threw at us. We must persevere and decide who we are.

We are strong, we are wise, we are intelligent. If we ever forget who we are or the power of our voice stands; if you ever go through the hardships of life; think back to when you were at Paideia and what you achieved.

Thank you for your time.

 Julisa Estrella

Good evening everyone, my name is Julisa Estrella.

This is my first year attending Paideia Academy. I remember my first day just like it was yesterday. I was scared! I walked into an eighth-grade classroom not recognizing any faces. However, as soon as I walked in I was welcomed with many bright smiles. I am very grateful for the teachers, friends, and family that have motivated me to try new things and challenge myself. Without their motivation, I would never have thought of joining the basketball team or being part of the lighthouse team.

I’d like to thank all my teachers for never giving up on me or any other student despite how tempting it was. To me being a teacher is the most selfless act out there, that’s why I’d like to take this time to thank everyone of my teachers. You guys devoted your time in and out of school by providing tutoring when we needed it, taking the time to make sure we understood the material, and if we struggled in life you guys were there to talk to us when personal things occurred. Teachers don’t get nearly enough recognition for all they do. These teachers sitting here are the reason why us dudes are able to take one more step further not just in school but life. So, with that said – thank you!

I’d also like to take this moment and thank my family that made it here. I’ve made so many memories that I always cherish. Paideia will always be remembered as something more than just one of my many random schools I’ve attended, it is a place where I learned to stay motivated and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

This is however not the end of school itself. We will all be going off to high school to find our voice. Students and teachers who were fortunate enough to attend such a fantastic school will know that finding our voice is important because it is how we define ourselves. Here before you today we stand as high achieving individuals that will soon begin the next step of our academic journey.

Thank you for your time and wisdom.