Shannon Moore of Cornwall delivered the afternoon valedictorian address during the second convocation ceremony at UPEI Saturday. A brother and a sister of Moore’s were also valedictorians in the past.
Shannon Moore turned to a couple of older siblings for a little inspiration in preparing the valedictory speech that she delivered Saturday.
The pair — Caolan and Kelsey Moore — had already taken the stage in the past to deliver an address to the graduating class at previous convocations of the University of Prince Edward Island.
Valedictorian in 2002, Caolan, 33, has gone on to become a lawyer in Toronto.
Kelsey, 27, one of UPEI’s two valedictorians in 2009, is currently studying child educational psychology at McGill University.
Shannon, 21, of Cornwall, pored over both her brother’s and her sister’s speeches before putting her own together.
“Personally, it’s a lot to live up to,’’ she says.
“I’m the baby girl in the family . . . I just want to do the best that I can do.’’
Noting that she was speaking on behalf of the student body, Shannon gave a thoughtful, inspiring valedictory Saturday.
“Among us today is a diverse group of people,’’ she told the afternoon convocation.
“The talent and the potential in the gymnasium this afternoon makes for a promising future . . . I encourage you all today to pursue what you are truly passionate about.’’
Shannon graduated Saturday with a bachelor of arts with a double major in French and psychology.
She is immediately going back to school this week, taking a one-year French program at UPEI with the hope of eventually pursuing a masters degree in guidance counselling.
Shannon gives heaps of praise to her parents, Kerry and Helene Moore, for the success she has enjoyed to date.
She considers the pair great role models in how they consistently convey great love and great acceptance towards others while making a point of being heavily involved in the community.
“I think we have great parents and it really comes down to that,’’ says Shannon.
“Our parents have raised us with faith . . . they’ve always been able to give us the riches of faith.’’
Shannon earned a full tuition scholarship based largely on her own community and athletic involvement.
She went on to play rugby for three years at UPEI and also played softball in 2013 at the Canada Games.
Her younger brother Kieran, 19, is also attending the University of Prince Edward Island under the same Michael S. Kelly Scholarship.
Kieran has just finished his first year studying sciences.
Perhaps he can follow in his siblings’ path and get the nod as valedictorian in a few years.
“I wouldn’t put that pressure on him,’’ says Shannon.