Dakota Ridge's Class of 2022 was treated to picture perfect Colorado springtime weather for their May 19 graduation ceremony at Red Rocks Ampitheater.
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Family, friends and faculty were on hand to celebrate and cheer loved ones across the academic finish line.
One of the most memorable speeches delivered came not from an educator or dignitary, but from Abdulmalik Alshin, an exchange student from Libya.
Alshin, who spent only his senior year at Dakota Ridge, spoke eloquently about what a priviledge it had been for him to finish high school in the U.S., where academics are only part of the overall experience. He used anecdotes about his time playing American football, which he'd never heard of prior to arriving on U.S. soil, to make a point often lost in the current political climate.
"High school here is life. It is not just academics. It is a community. It is family," he said. "The legacy we are leaving behind is one of positivity and kindness. We learned to respect and apreciate each other's cultural and religious differences, while finding common ground on a team pursuing a shared goal or building a friendship. We are more alike than different."
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