VIDEO: HS Valedictorian Delivers Moving Speech

Alem Hadzic of Early College High School gives speech | Image by WFAA
Alem Hadzic of Early College High School gives speech | Image by WFAA

Many high schoolers deal with trials and tribulations throughout their academic career, but some face greater challenges than others.

Alem Hadzic of Early College High School, part of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, was named the valedictorian of his class, reported WFAA.

When graduation day came on May 16, Hadzic delivered a powerful speech that went viral due to its unexpected content.

In January, Hadzic’s father, Miralem, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died just a day before his graduation on May 19.

“My father died yesterday,” he told the crowd. “And I attended his funeral today right before graduation. That’s why my shoes are muddy. That’s why my arms are shaking because I had to carry him into his grave and bury him.”

Hadzic shared with WFAA that Miralem was an immigrant from Bosnia who worked as a Domino’s pizza delivery driver and dreamed of building a better life for his children.

“I can’t pretend that I want to be up here doing this speech right now, but I can’t throw away something that he worked so hard for me to achieve,” he explained, per a news release from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. “So I’m going to go to college and work every hour of every day to achieve all of my goals. Because that’s what he wanted and I’m going to do it for him.”

He concluded his speech to resounding applause and cheers, telling his classmates to do the same and achieve as much as they could for their loved ones.

Hadzic shared with WFAA that the reactions to his speech taught him that he’s far from alone and will always be his father’s son.

“Just like he was proud of me, and he would be proud of me right now, I’m proud of him,” he said, per WFAA.

Hadzic will attend the University of Texas at Austin this fall and pursue a degree in chemical engineering.

The Dallas Express contacted Hadzic for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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