WXYZ — “Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel,” Detroit Denby Co-Valedictorian Shyla Butler said.
“I can finally say I’ve made it, I over exceeded my expectations,” Detroit Denby Salutatorian A'lantis Clayton said.
“Class of 2020 we may not have had the power to control what happened this year, but the future remains in our hands, so it’s up to us to decide what to do with it,” Detroit Denby Co-Valedictorian Cheyanne Robinson added.
Those are just a few of the favorite lines from the graduation speeches that Detroit Denby’s Co-Valedictorians and Salutatorian have prepared.
For Shyla Butler, Cheyanne Robinson and A'lantis Clayton, their paths to the top of the class weren’t easy.
“It’s an honor because I put a lot of hard work into being Valedictorian, so I’m just happy,” Butler said.
“It was a journey, a lot of hard nights, a lot of hard mornings, I wanted to give up sometimes but I’m glad I challenged myself and went above my expectations,” Clayton added.
All three will still address their peers in the virtual graduation, but their principal, Tanisha Manningham, wanted to do something special for these three who had risen to the challenge.
“Just really wanted to celebrate them in some way, because they deserve to be celebrated for being the top three in the class,” Manningham said.
So when the students got an unexpected knock on their doors, receiving their sashes from their principal, they were shocked.
“I didn’t know what was going on at first, I thought my mom was going to surprise me with a car, but it wasn’t that,” Butler said.
“I thought it was the neighbors, but it was Mrs. Manningham and I was like wow,” Clayton recalled.
It was a surprise they’ll all remember, as they close the door on this chapter of their lives.
“To be a student at Denby High School, it’s not always easy. These young ladies get up everyday, come through the doors, work hard, push themselves, push each other, to make sure that they have excellence at all times,” Manningham said.