Graduation 2021: A Celebration

Northeast High School’s valedictorian Kennedy Randall gives a powerful commencement speech to her classmates at their 2021 graduation.

Randall overcame a lot to achieve her academic success. She experienced homelessness and juggled her coursework while also taking care of her niece and helping her mother recover from surgery.

“If I still want to create the life I want, I have to be ready to face those challenges,” Randall said, “and whatever is presented to me now, I can just take it one step at a time.”

Randall was one of the few students from Northeast to score perfectly on her AP exams.

“I’m from Northeast,” she said, “We weren’t known for our test scores and I wanted to show that, because I go to Northeast, I’m not bound by my statistics.”

Randall is the first in her family to go to college. She plans to study physics and astronomy at Swarthmore College in the fall and she received more than $80,000 in scholarships.

“I’m just going to try my best and have life takes me wherever I’m supposed to be. It’s been working so far,” she said, “I’m glad to finally be the decider of my life.”

Randall’s speech was edited for brevity. This film includes moments from the Northeast High School, Southwest High School, and Rutland High School commencements.