BPL 2020 Commencement Address - Elise Reitzammer

 It feels like these past four years have flown by so quickly especially these past couple of months. I just wanted to thank everyone for helping and guiding me to get to where I am now. Thank you, advisors and administrators for guiding me through the two years I was here at Innovations. Thank you to my aunt and uncle, for letting me stay under your roof. You guys helped me get my life back together and build a future for myself when I felt like my life was so chaotic. Thank you Mom for supporting me even though you are hundreds of miles away now. And thank you to my peers.
Before coming to Innovations, I felt like I was drowning in the sea of people. I went to two other high schools with over 2,000 students. The teachers didn’t see my potential, the students ignored everyone, the classrooms were overcrowded, and I felt like I wasn’t given the room I needed to grow as an individual. I was depressed and didn’t know what I was doing or what I was going to do with my life. I had a schedule that I couldn’t change or pick what I wanted to do. I was frustrated and stressed out of my mind. I wasn’t getting the help and support from my school even when I asked for help it. 
I’m grateful for the time I was at Innovations. I had moved to Reno from Washington state where life was crazy, and I wasn’t in a good place. When I moved here, I knew I didn’t want to go to a traditional school. When I was looking around for a school, I knew I wanted to go to a smaller and different one. Then Innovations popped up in my life and helped me so much. I have been working on myself and look how far I’ve grown, look at how all of us have grown. 
My experience at Innovations has helped me figure out what I want to do after I graduate. I want to be a General’s Aide in the Air Force. I will be making food for the Generals and for big military events. I figured that out by going to internships of my choice and learning outside of the classroom. I had an internship at the Roundabout grill inside of the Whitney Peak hotel and at the Zeppelin baking desserts and learning how to properly make bread. I learned how work in a busy, fast paced kitchen. I would have never learned how to do all this in a traditional high school. Thank you Big Picture for giving kids a new environment to grow in. 
Us Seniors have put in the work and effort to get where we are today. Even though school is closed, and everything is online, we have gotten through this. We came together as a school family to get this done. We didn’t get to have our senior prom, or sunset, or a proper graduation, but we came out of this stronger than we were before. We got to experience this in our own way. We are moving into adult hood a little differently than we all anticipated, but we are here. We made it. 
All of you have helped me and your fellow peers to get here, even through Quarantine and these life changing events. 
Congratulations to the class of 2020.