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Salutatorian Erinn Wong Discusses Importance of Diversity

By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor

This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian, Matthew Lin and Erinn Wong respectively, have been announced.

Traditionally, the class valedictorian and salutatorian give speeches at graduation ceremonies. This year, the school decided to hold auditions for any senior who desired to speak at graduation.

Wong, though not selected to speak, felt the call to share her message with her peers.

In the speech she wrote, Erinn listed some of the things a conforming society told her to do. (See jfkclarion.com for more of Erinn’s words)

“Join PACE, they said. Don’t talk to non-PACE kids, they said. Don’t talk to FOBs, they said … Join Key Club, NHS, they said. Join a sport, they said … Don’t ask guys to prom, they said. Stick to guy girl constructs, they said,” Erinn wrote in her speech. These are just a few of the instructions that Erinn listed as things she did not do. “Even though some of these things were not outright explicitly said to me, I could see it and feel these labels and actions being implied and dividing our student body.”

“I think it’s funny that with everything going on in the country right now, that we still choose to live this way at one of the most diverse schools in one of the most diverse cities in America,” Erinn wrote. Sacramento is currently the 10th most diverse city in the United States.

Ultimately, what brings the community together is everyone’s differences and individualism.

“Staying true to ourselves will bring out the best version of who we can possibly be. Staying true to ourselves means learning to love ourselves, and from love we’re able to give, to listen, to care, to accept and to empower each other.”

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