Valedictorian’s faith-based commencement speech goes viral

It’s graduation season which means there’s plenty of words of wisdom being shared by commencement speakers.

But one particular commencement speaker has gone viral for the speech she delivered to her fellow classmates. Lydia Owens, valedictorian of Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina, boldly inserted her faith into her speech.

Like many speeches, she began hers detailing a hardship and how she overcame it to get to where she was today.

“You are so much more than how well you perform,” she said. “If you place your identity in what you accomplish, and you believe you are only good enough if you succeed, what happens when you fail?” Owens questioned. “What happens when you don’t have a lot of money or you don’t have a lot of friends?”

Owens explained to

Lydia Owens recently delivered a speech at the Woodmont High School graduation ceremony, where she was recognized as the school's Valedictorian and Senior Class President. Lydia is the daughter of our Executive Pastor, Brian Owens. So it might not surprise you that she mentioned…

— Wayne Bray (@waynebray) June 1, 2023

“>WHNS how her mother was her biggest inspiration and “always encouraged me in my faith.”

“She’s the reason that I have such a strong faith. She was the example of how to be a Godly woman and how to love people intentionally.”

The teen continued to explain how after losing her mother her perspective of success “drastically changed, because I realized the many years I spent placing my worth in my academics meant absolutely nothing in eternity.”

Lydia’s speech was not your typical valedictorian speech, but I absolutely loved it! It added a different perspective to the meaning of success and how much pressure we put on ourselves to succeed.

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