Jeff Kaufman sent this in. His wife was one of Primi's proud teachers and advisers.
Primi Akhtar’s Valedictory Address, Queens Metropolitan High School, June 2014
Welcome Class of 2014, teachers, staff, beloved supporters.
There are not enough “thank yous” to give out right now. I am really grateful to have known such amazing, talented, bright people. To each and every one of you- thank you for being the weird you that you are.
But there’s someone special who I always wanted to thank: and that’s my mother- the one who would yank blankets off me, set alarms at 6AM, and walk me to school since I was 5 years old. She was my first teacher, really. And of course, she would nourish me, with the best Bengali food ever. I would also like thank all those who have also sustained us and driven us to be who we are today-- our ancestors with their stories of struggle, our parents who work every day, our mentors and educators who guide us through compassion, farmers who cultivate our food and all the people that have labored to allow us the privilege to be here today.
So let’s give it up for them! It’s important to acknowledge how hard our people are working in hopes of a brighter tomorrow, and how we must work harder for that future that is more sustainable, humane, and of course... loving.
Those of you who know me, know that I don’t follow rules (well, for the most part). I know you are expecting a speech, but I will not give a speech today. Instead, I would like to send out my welcome, my gratitude, and my love through poetry.
But I need your help. When I say, “I’ll let them know” you respond with “I am”. “I am” is not me alone...but it’s us. We’ll do this together- a call and response. The synching may be tough, but we’ve been together for 4 years, so I think y’all will get it.
Let’s begin, and hopefully you’ll remember this one…
I’ll let world know
Abandoning our insecurities in search of something more
Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2014!