‘YOLO' takes on new meaning for Boyertown graduates

Photos by Rebecca Blanchard
Photos by Rebecca Blanchard

Five hundred and thirty four seniors graduated from Boyertown Area Senior High on Saturday, June 8, exiting from one phase of life to welcome the next.

Valedictorian Jacob A. Garner, Class President, sought to give a speech that would be both memorable and meaningful for his peers.

“My advice to you: YOLO,” said Garner. “Your life starts here. Only you can decide your fate. Live responsibly. Outdo Expectations,” said Garner.

‘YOLO,’ is a phrase which most commonly stands for ‘you only live once.’


Prior to Garner’s speech, Salutatorian Emily C. Allen told her classmates to embrace their ‘inner-something’s.’

“Embrace whatever it is that gives you inspiration,” said Allen. “Our lives are about to change immensely, we need to enjoy what we love.”

School Board President Gwen Semmens statements echoed Allen’s, encouraging graduates to spend their time on things they are passionate about. “You can make a difference,” said Semmens.

“Hard work prompts success,” said Principal Dr. Brett Cooper. “Listen, analyze and think for yourselves. Be open to change and formulate your own opinions. Do not sell yourselves short.”

The ceremony kicked off with the class song ‘It’s Time’ by the Imagine Dragons, performed by Coby Bartolucci, Shane Blazier, Timothy Duffy, Andrew McFadyen, Adam Pellicciotti and Ethan Shalaway.

The motto for the class of 2013: “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.