"We could be the generation that says OK and takes the white-hot coal that is the world, to hold it close as we cut a new path through the wilderness that is life for the generations to follow us and ourselves,” said Griffyn Bellah, Ellensburg High School graduate.

Bellah enthusiastically urged his fellow peers in a speech during Ellensburg High School graduation ceremony Thursday night at Nicholson Pavilion to bravely shoulder any problems his generation might inherent and leave the world better than they found it.

“We’re not called Generation Z because this is the end. We are called Generation Z because we could be the end to this world’s problems,” Bellah said.

Similar to what you might see at a football rally Bellah passionately reminded his classmates as each student occupied a new place in the world, job or school to challenge the status quo.

“What we do know is that the answers to this burning coal that is the world and its problems don’t lie on the beaten path, for it has been taken many times before,” Bellah said. “Maybe those before us didn’t take a new path for a reason, but I think it’s because we’ve grown comfortable. Each generation inherits a world with the searing heat of the last problems, and the generation before says we’re sorry, but it’s your job now.”

Cliches echoed off the walls while parents, families, and staff whooped and hollered through speeches, performances and the marquee graduation walk. Signs were held high and parents blasted horns and whirled noise makers.

Ellensburg High School chemistry teacher Dave Hodges told an allegorical story about fishing, stating it was through family fishing trips he learned the importance of failure.

“I can’t imagine my life without countless failures I’ve had fishing and the joy and success I’ve had having fished,” Hodges said.

Hodges went on to say that he believed society and education emphasizes success at all cost, but by doing so valuable life lessons are missed out on.

“Failure can teach you how to find and fix mistakes, problem-solving, and how to correct your mistakes and keep trying until you succeed, resilience,” Hodges said.

Hodges hoped his students would actively learn from their future mistakes that students would inevitably make and could walk away with their heads held high.

Two hundred and forty-seven students in matching blue gowns and caps intently listened, absorbing the last advice school officials and fellow classmates could bestow upon them before it was time for the greatly anticipated turning of the tassel.

Hundreds of hands eagerly grabbed gold tassels crossing from right to the left symbolizing the step into adulthood. Caps were thrown high into the air and students embraced as their hats rained back on them wrapping up the 2019 EHS graduation.

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