Page 12 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, June 7, 2024 GRADUATES | FROM PAGE 1 an Honor Roll GPA of 3.0 or better. Additionally, over 80% of this year’s class is headed to either a four-year college or university, a two-year community college or a certificate granting program. Over 100 seniors received just over $124,000 in scholarships at the recent Senior Awards Night. On Sunday, the Malden High School Scholarship corporation – in existence since 1909 – awarded individual $5,000 scholarships to a total of 30 recipients, another new high mark, as announced by Trustee Greg Lucey. Top-ranked student and Class Valedictorian Colby Parker, who is headed to the University of Florida in the fall, also spoke on the historical aspect of his classmates’ high school experience. “In Malden, our motto is ‘Strong Past, Proud Future.’ This can mean something different to everyone, but in my view, this speaks to the character of our school, our community, and more specifically, our class as a whole,” Parker said, referencing the fact that this 2024 class was the only one in school history that spent most of its freshman year in remote learning, due to the pandemic. “Our time at Malden High did more than teach us the curriculum, it instilled in us a work ethic and a sense of character that will continue to pave the way for our success in the years to come,” Parker added. “We were provided more than an education, we were given ownership over our futures.” Alejandra Fernandez has been in the United States for just three years, but has made a tremendous impact on the Malden community and Malden High School specifically in that brief time. Fernandez will matriculate at Harvard University – frequently ranked at or near the best college or university in the world this fall. She shared a snapshot of her life as an emigrant from Venezuela in her Salutatory Address as the #2-ranked student in the Class of 2024. The MHS Salutatorian had words of praise for her school and those who helped make a welcoming environment. “I would like to thank my classmates, teachers, and administrators for all their work in creating a welcoming environment that embraces diversity at Malden High School,” Fernandez said. She also thanks her parents in her and their native language, Espanol. “Mami y papi, ustedes son la razón por la que estoy aquí hoy dando un discurso. Desde pre-escolar ustedes me han impulsado a seguir mis sueños, a nunca dudar de mi, y me han dado la fuerza para superar cualquier obstáculo en el camino.” Fernandez urged her graduating peers to “make a positive change wherever you go.” “Whether your next step in life is attending a four-year or twoyear college or going into the workforce, take advantage of the learning opportunities, be bold, and strive to make a positive change wherever,” Fernandez said. Class Orator Ivan Wu, who is headed to Mass. Institute of Technology (MIT), the #3 collegiate engineering program in the world, in the fall, cited his embrace of the Daoist philosophy as a driving force behind a surge of motivation in his academics that pushed him near the top of his class. “I have endured weakness in the past, drifting through school without a care in the world. However, one day, enlightenment dawned on me. This turning point in my journey is why I can stand here before you today,” Wu told his classmates and the audience. “I made no shortage of mistakes along the way, and occasionally didn’t try hard enough where it mattered, but my efforts bore fruit in the end. The point is that any one of you seated here today can take the same path, rife with both successes and failures, and time will show you whether your efforts were worth it,” Wu added. Malden High Class of 2024 President Meklit Abel, who is headed to Bentley University, one of the top-ranked business schools in the world, in the fall, also serves as the Student Representative to the Malden School Committee. She had praise for the “power of community” she has experienced in her high school years in her remarks. “One of the most incredible things that I personally think the class of 2024 embodies heavily is the power of community. Together, we’ve created a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and included,” Abel said. “We’ve celebrated each other’s successes and lifted each other up in times of need. This sense of community is something I will always cherish and strive to recreate in all aspects of my life,” she added. Following the speeches, a total of 423 members of the Class of 2024 received their diplomas and at the conclusion, when the traditional “cap toss” followed, family and friends streamed onto the Macdonald Stadium field to offer their congratulations to the strains of what now seems to have become the official theme song of Malden High Graduation Day, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’“ THE SMITHS (not the singing group): Malden High graduates, pictured from left to right: Trinity Smith, Scott Smith and Agambir Singh. MHS BAND PLAYS ON— For their final song on Graduation Day. MESSAGES WITH MEANING: Many Malden High Class of 2024 Graduates adorned the top of their caps with meaningful messages. (Advocate Photos/Henry Huang) EASY AS 1-2-3— The Three top-ranked students (and speakers) for the Class of 2024 in the front row. Valedictorian Colby Parker, Salutatorian Alejandra Fernandez and Orator Ivan Wu. Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy. Greg Lucey announces awardees for the Malden High School Inc. Scholarships, 33 scholarships of $5,000 each. ENJOYING THE DAY— Tyler Edmond and Ericah Makaria raise their hands in "victory" as they enjoy the day. Malden High School Principal Chris Mastrangelo presiding over his 7th Commencement Exercises. ONE LAST SONG: Director Todd Cole leads the Malden High senior members and their underclassmen colleagues from the Choral Art Society in one last song together on Graduation Day. VIVA BRAZIL: Malden High senior Felix Junior Da Costa celebrates his Brazilian heritage with the Bandeira Nacional do Brasil (National Flag of Brazil) on Graduation Day. FIRST PIC OF “GRAD TWINS”: Hot off the press was this very first photo of “Twin Grads” Zakaria Mohamed Saleh (left) and Hamza Mohamed Saleh (right). Malden High School's 2024 Class President Meklit Abel.

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