Founder's Day Speeches

We had a wonderful celebration at Founders’ Day this year.  The students were particularly inspired by the speech that the Head Boy and Head Girl delivered.


Founders Day Speech  -  March 2nd 2017

Delivered jointly by the Head Boy and Head Girl


Fear is the biggest enemy of talent. Think about that. Fear is the biggest enemy of talent. It’s funny how one, single emotion can be responsible for the downfall of many talented people. That dark curtain which looms over you before sitting down for that crucial test, or preparing for a football match, or standing up to address an audience as large as today’s. I know how it feels. To be swallowed up by this fear this seems to be ever-present at the time. But you see, fear succeeds over man and prevents people finding their talent in one of two ways. The first; when you let your perception of it become reality. And the second… when you let it stop you from ever trying in the first place.


It separates those who are willing to discover their true talent from those who are too afraid to realise their true potential. Kanye West, who now rather lovingly describes himself as ‘the greatest living rock star on the planet’ could’ve easily found himself stuck in his dead-end telemarketing role, if he decided to cave in to the fear of being accepted by everyone in the music industry. The label that he was signed to: ‘Roc Nation’ deterred him from ever venturing into rap, stating that he was simply an in-house producer. But he realised his talent, and didn’t allow anything to stop him pursuing success as a rapper. And that’s something we should all understand as Addeyans; we should never allow anyone, especially ourselves, to stop us from finding our talent, because we’re too fixated on the latest TV series or game to really reflect on what we’re good at. Our aspirations and goals which we’ve put in place may appear to be far down the line, (especially for those in Key Stage 3) but one thing which I can say for certain is that we reap what we sow in this world. So invest in yourself from early on, because time can hopefully breed success or end in regret.


But as much as we can decide that we want to do something good with ourselves, people and circumstance will always be in the way of our success. Sometimes, we don’t even know what it is that’s distracting us from our true potential. For example, have you ever taken the time to simply listen to the level of noise in your classroom? Sometimes (at least in our case), it can get so loud in certain classes that it inhibits our focus and prevents us from working. It happens to everyone, believe me, but what I don’t think most people realise is that that time can never be retrieved again. But we must remember that we are relying on each other to get through the lesson. The worst thing that can happen in Year 11 is being forced to play catch-up on education because all the chances to improve yourself were squandered. Don’t let that thought dwell upon you though, let it be a wake-up call to some and simply a reminder to others. Believe it or not, by simply allowing your teacher to teach their lesson, you’re cooperatively helping to improve the lives of everyone in one way or another. And together, the improvement which your whole class will make will be staggering. There is no I in team, and that’s for good reason. For every man that went to the moon, there was a whole team of people tracking his every breath. For every musician with a hit song, there was a team of creators, producers, crafting every single beat. Last but not least, for every successful student, there is a host of teachers and friends, encouraging you to push further than what you envisioned, propelling you to be the best that you can be.


I realised that a talent I have is speaking publicly, which is funny considering I find it difficult to hold conversations with anyone. I remember going to Prendergast School last year to participate in ‘Jack Petchey’s Speak out Challenge’ and being pitted against some of the best speakers in Lewisham, I was incredibly scared. I can recall being so scared prior to my own speech that my legs were physically shaking in my seat. But right then and there, I realised that me being scared wouldn’t help me at all when standing up on that stage, delivering my speech to a crowd of 1,000 people. So I distanced myself from fear, and simply used the talent I have, which resulted in a standing ovation, a 1st place trophy, a good bit of money I have to say, but perhaps most importantly, the feeling of satisfaction from knowing that my talent could bring happiness to so many people around me.


But you see, talent can’t be nurtured without the help of those around you. Teachers, your peers, your parents, and more importantly your friends, play a huge part in allowing you to develop into mature young adults, and beyond. I can say that without the people I have around me currently, I wouldn’t be the person you see standing in front of you today. And that’s not to say that despite all this, I haven’t made reckless decisions, bad calls, and been out of line a few times, because after all we are human and we were designed to make mistakes. However, some mistakes can be costly, and time is precious, so don’t allow it to simply pass by each day without learning or trying to better yourself at all. Because when it gets to those GCSE weeks when all the hard efforts, and countless hours are put into practice, nothing should keep you from achieving the best you can do, and coming out with your head held high.


And so to finish with a final piece of advice, allow yourself to realise your talent. Take the time to understand what it is you’re good at, and run with it, because the money, the success, and that overwhelming fulfilment comes from being the best at what you do. And so now in the words of young rapper Dave, ‘it’s time to paint your picture my brother, now you can go get it’.