Epps tells Darlington High Class of 2017 to leave their mark on the world

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

The excitement was obvious as the Darlington High School Class of 2017 entered the Florence Civic Center June 2 for their graduation ceremony. Family and friends packed the auditorium, several wearing homemade t-shirts with pictures of their graduate on them.

Several graduates gave speeches including Christina Epps, a Darlington County Board of Education Scholar.

“Over the past few weeks, since finding out I would be giving this speech, I have been asked by several teachers what inspired me and my answer has been the same: I really don’t know,” Epps said. “After taking the time to ponder, I realized that I have been inspired by a variety of things: Family expectations, friends, goals and requirements.”

Epps said that her muses started pushing her to succeed when she was young.

“At a young age, my parents plainly told me what they expected of me and I made sure I met those expectations,” Epps said. “Regardless of how high sometimes I thought those expectations were, it didn’t change those demands. I realized those unsolicited requirements and demands became my inspiration. I wanted to make them proud but I especially didn’t want to hear them fuss.”

Though her parents set goals for her, her friends pushed her in ways that they likely didn’t understand.

“My friends inspired me even when they didn’t realize they were by calling me ‘The Smart One’, ‘The Nerd’ or by simply saying ‘Ask Christina, she knows,’ Epps said. “Instead of allowing these comments to make me shy away from making high grades, they pushed me to continue to excel. I wasn’t trying to prove anything to my friends but I was inspired more so to prove to myself that I could be better and meet their expectations. Succeeding was not always easy but what my family and friends expected of me always remained in the forefront of my mind.”

Epps encouraged her classmates to find their path and follow it, regardless of what it takes to make it to where they are going.

“Make a decision to be inspired to carry out your own plan,” Epps said. “If others have demands on you that you can’t avoid, use those demands as a tool. Use negativity as a roadmap and go in the opposite direction. Use your enemies as footstools and use failure as lessons. We the Darlington High School Class of 2017 didn’t make it to the civic center by running away from our challenges but by being inspired by what others said we wouldn’t be able to do. Let’s leave our mark and inspire others to just go for it and never give up.”

Find our gallery of photos from the Darlington High School graduation here: https://newsandpress.smugmug.com/Darlington-High-School-Graduation-2017

Author: mrollins

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Posts Remaining