Sincere Senior Fathiha Sheriff Looks to Send Off Β΄24 Grads

With graduation right around the corner, you might be wondering about the student speaker. Blake’s panel of teachers has chosen Fathiha Sheriff to deliver the graduation speech this year, and The Blake Beat spoke with her and asked about the entire process of becoming the student speaker. 

When asked about the process to become a graduation speaker she stated, Β¨I knew I had to write an essay that was at least five minutes long. After that, I just signed up with the Google Form and then turned in the essay that I wrote and got an email the next week including the rubric for it.”  She read her speech for the panel of eight staff members in the amphitheater–apparently impressing them. She stated, β€œShortly after I got an email and I was selected and that’s about it.”

The idea of speaking in front of everyone has to be nerve-wracking and Fathiha acknowledges that as well by saying, β€œI’m mainly kind of nervous about the amount of people I will be speaking in front of because I’ve only ever spoken in front of a classroom size of people. I also know there will be some influential people that will be there, but I think I’ll do great.” For context, a couple thousand guests are expected to attend BHS graduation at UMBC. It’s great that she is optimistic despite feeling nervous.

β€œI did some degree of public speaking training like one of my assignments in my English class where we had to write a graduation speech and perform it for five-seven minutes and I guess that kind of helped me prepare in terms of having confidence. It’s already hard enough for people to speak for more than two minutes so being able to speak all the way to seven minutes kind of helped me a lot. I would also practice in front of my teachers and motivate myself to just do it. So I would say to some degree.”

She wants to focus on the message she is bringing and the delivery of the said message, and she’s conscious not to include too many cliches or sound too basic: β€œThe delivery of the message is the most important because you don’t want to be on the stage saying things like never give up but you look and sound like you don’t want to be there.” Being confident is very important to her; she wants students to know that her words are sincere and hopes that her delivery will help to send the message across. 

Many Blake students and families will hear her words and she wants her message to apply to everyone there to hear it, saying β€œI want to get across that it is okay to fail and to try things multiple times until you get it right. There is no shame in not being the best and not knowing what your next step is.”

We wish Fathiha Sheriff good luck at graduation on June 12th, 9:00 AM at UMBC!