A South Carolina high school valedictorian is going viral for her very faith-based graduation speech. Lydia Owens, who was senior class president in addition to earning her class’ top academic honor, encouraged her classmates with a sentiment you don’t often hear at graduations. She told her classmates that whether they do or don’t accomplish their goals, that is not what defines them.
“Even if you accomplish all of your dreams or none of them at all, you are still valuable and you are still good enough because you are made in the image of God,” she said.
Still valuable. Still good enough. Owens gave her classmates the gift of a message that the world they are about to enter into will certainly not give them.
Owens’ speech was only three minutes long, but it was laden with important truths for her fellow classmates. Despite reaching academic success, she told them that her definition of success in general was completely redefined by tragedy two years earlier when her mom passed away.
“When tragedy struck my life, it was not my grades nor my accomplishments that helped me navigate through that loss. When everything else in my life felt uncertain, the only person I could depend on to stay the same was Jesus,” she testified.