PHOTO BY ALENA KUZUB
The Class of 2017 proceeds to their seats during graduation.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
REVERE — More than 400 students moved their tassel from left to right Thursday night at Revere High School.
“What exactly makes Revere so special? The first word that comes to mind is grit,” said class president Gianni Hill. “In Revere, we do not give up even when times are difficult. We band together as a community when facing economic disparity, families separated by an ocean, and the negative stigma that comes with an urban school. We choose, however, not to be defined by these hardships.”
Students at Revere High have showed their resolve on the field and on the court, and by working harder than children in other districts may have had to, she said.
Many students “were leaving school to rush over to a part-time job to help support our families,” she said.
The class participated in beach cleanups and raised money for Steps 4 Cancer, a local nonprofit that benefits Revere families affected by cancer, two years in a row.
“You are all nothing short of incredible human beings,” she said.
Hayley Petrozzelli, the class salutatorian, said she became obsessed with finishing high school at the top of the class and the goal began to take over her life. She advised her fellow graduates not to fall into the same grind.
“I remember one time in advisory, I was furiously reading my World History textbook cramming for a test, and one of my good friends asked ‘Hayley, are you breathing?’” said Petrozzelli. “She brought to my attention that I was almost panting, harshly breathing out words and turning red.
“Graduates, when you are on a college campus, a job site, or any setting that demands something from you, take time to breathe and take advantage of all you can do,” she said. “Take a second to look at the world instead of letting it pass you by.”
Petrozzelli will attend Emmanuel College in the fall.
Valedictorian Samantha Rosa, who will study English at Northeastern University, praised her classmates for their accomplishments.
“Today is the culmination of our tireless pursuits,” said Rosa. “Our midnight cramming sessions, our late night games, and our never ending shifts. We entered as over 400 people with distinct backgrounds and unique experiences, when we scurried into the doors of Revere High School four years ago, clammy and terrified — or maybe that was just me — but we get to leave matured, with our perspectives broadened.”
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte