Many of you were probably wondering why I was dressed so elegantly today. As the valedictorian of Aviation High School, I was invited to attend an annual summer barbecue for the Valedictorians and Salutatorians of all New York City public high schools. The event, which was hosted by none other than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg along with schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, was held at the historic Gracie Manson on the Upper East Side. There were over 800 Valedictorians/Salutatorians in attendance from all five boroughs. New York City school system’s reputation as the most ethnically diverse school district in the nation was indeed on display at this event as faces from all walks of life were represented.
The event began with an opportunity to take a picture with both Bloomberg and Walcott, an opportunity which I exercised. Next was the actual barbecue in which food and drinks were served with the latest pop hits blasting in the background. This was a chance for attendees to meet one another and share their accomplishments. Finally the program concluded with a brief word of advice and encouragement with a touch of humorous comments from Mr. Bloomberg.