WESTFALL TWP. - As the sun set at Delaware Valley High School Friday evening, memories were shared, words of encouragement were given and excitement was in the air as the Class of 2018 readied for the next chapter of their lives.

Senior Class President Shane Fagan reminisced about the Friday night events that united the students and community at the field, when they rallied to encourage the athletes during sporting events. Having won and lost during their high school careers on the field and in the classroom, it is because of those experiences the students are prepared for their futures.

At DV, Fagan reminded his classmates that they were at home but yet, they were about to take the next step and as a result, they mustn’t forget their “humbling beginnings.” As they go forward and live their lives, they must be responsible and become leaders.

While their time in high school has ended, the students were to leave with what they have learned on the field and in the classroom Fagan said. He thanked the teachers, administrators and board members for giving the students what they needed in the real world; his family for their support and his friends for making his high school career an experience.

Because she found the “motivation and energy” to work towards her goals, Salutatorian Liliana Hendrix told the audience that despite not being “that smart,” she committed herself to her studies and because of that, she was the salutatorian, which proved that hard work can lead to success.

With the continuous snow days this school year, Hendrix said she and her peers didn’t feel as though they were ever going to graduate, but they were done; yet kindergarten through junior classes weren’t finished since they had days to complete. That received laughs from the audience.

Now the students are ready for the next phase of their lives Hendrix said, as they will go out and meet people and make their own decisions. She noted, however, that the students will face challenges that make their “dreams difficult to achieve.” In the words of her brother, she knows her peers are smart so they will “figure it out.”

Days before classes concluded, a teacher of Ariana Como told the student council president that his door would always be open, even though he was aware they may never meet again. From that, she realized some of the students may not see one another after graduation, but she knows that every student could go on and do “great things.” It was in high school that the students learned about themselves and so, she hoped they would focus on their skills and “do what you love.” Como advised the students that they should always remember to help others and so “stay humble and be kind.” That information, she credited Tim McGraw and her family for teaching her to live by. She thanked her family and friends and said while they were ready to say goodbye, the students mustn’t forget DV since it was the place that shaped them to be who they are today.

To be successful, Valedictorian Cindy Li said it happens with hard work and the support of others, as they share their knowledge and offer encouragement through the “good and bad.” Time passes quickly, but it was just four years ago as freshmen that life seemed “much simpler.” Having made it through high school and looking to their futures, Li said they were going on to meet new people which is “terrifying.” But they are ready because of the knowledge they gained through their time at DV.

Li thanked her classmates who will be serving in the military for their “selflessness and bravery.” To her peers who will be entering the workforce, she is envious that they know what they want. But, she reminded those going to college that their test scores do not define them; instead, it’s important that they just “work hard and try your best.”

This year, Li acknowledged that she developed a “formal disease called seniorist.” Because of that, she realized that grades don’t define a student’s success and so, they shouldn’t “stress too much.” Instead, they should enjoy their lives and “have fun.” They must try their best so they can be proud of themselves. As they move forward, Li told her peers to take chances and “do what scares you” because if they don’t try more they won’t grow.” Whatever they end up doing is important, since that is what they want and will make them happy.

Dreams, Li said are important and her classmates should “dream big” because dreams are a motivation and offers a sense of hope to people. If they encounter people who doubt them, the young adults were to use that as “motivation to succeed” because “dreams really do come true.”

As they go forward to start the next chapter of their lives, Li told the students that they mustn’t forget where they came from or the people they’ve met. It’s been the time they’ve spent at DV that they became who they are today and so, they must go live more so they continue to grow.

Li concluded by telling the Class of 2018 that they are the future and that is, “scary and unpredictable and exhilarating and breathtaking and exciting” because their names are being called since, “we are the future.”