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2018 Valedictorian: Cesar Mares

Congratulations to the Providence Cristo Rey High School 2018 Valedictorian, Cesar Mares!

Cesar will attend Wabash College this fall to study Biochemistry.

Colleges Cesar was accepted to:

  • Evangel University

  • Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Taylor University

  • Wabash College

Corporate Work Study Partners:

  • Delta Faucet (2014-2017)

  • Eli Lilly & Company (2017-2018)

Extracurricular Activities:

  • Chemistry Olympiad (2015-2017)

  • Highest score for 2nd year Chemistry Olympiad test at Providence Cristo Rey (2017)

  • National Honor Society

  • Georgetown Summer Immersion Program (2017)

  • Varsity Baseball (2014-2018)

  • Baseball Team Captain (2014-2018)

  • Varsity Soccer (2015-2018)

  • Soccer Team Captain (2017-2018)

Community Service

  • Youth group leader at his church, Centro Familiar Esperanza Vida

Cesar wishes to thank his parents, Ruth Mendoza and Francisco Mares, the staff and faculty of Providence Cristo Rey High School, his mentors, and his supervisors at Delta Faucet and Eli Lilly & Company.

Cesar's Valedictorian Speech:

Graduates, parents, staff, relatives, friends, and those who were dragged to this ceremony against their will, good evening and congratulations to the class of 2018! Today marks the culmination of four years of vigorous procrastination, incessant complaining of the school dress code, and all-nighters frantically typing up six-page essays lying to ourselves that this is the last time It will happen.

We have all been victims of this at one point in our high school careers. All joking matters aside, today marks the culmination of four years of tremendous academic and professional growth, from the college-preparatory courses and incredible staff and faculty to the corporate work and skills acquired from such work performed in companies all across Indiana, it is undeniable that Providence Cristo Rey has positioned us well for next step in life.

No, I will not spend the next three or so minutes talking about our school, our experiences, nor do I plan on engaging in the trivial task of imparting to you of my own wisdom, but in this short time that I have been granted I wish to share with you something that God has placed in my heart.

Approximately 3,500 years ago, the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness. Their ignorance and disbelief in the promise of God brought his wrath upon the people for 40 long years. He delayed their entrance into the land promised to Abraham until the death of an entire generation that did evil in his sight. Under the leadership of Moses, the Israelites suffered much at the expense of their mistakes and continual denial of the commandments issued by God.

Despite seeing His power and faithfulness when he released them from captivity under the Egyptians, they blinded themselves to worship figments of their own creation and not the Creator himself. At the end of these 40 years and after the death of the last member of that wicked generation, it was time for the promise to be fulfilled. Moses passed away, and a new young leader was elected by God to lead the people not towards more wilderness, but towards the land that flowed with milk and honey.

How does this relate to me you may ask? Well, we will focus on Joshua to answer this question. Joshua was in a state of transition. While not explicitly stated in the first chapter, one can reasonably assume that Joshua was anxious of the task at hand. He was succeeding Moses, a leader difficult to imitate, he was prone to failure, to criticism, to defeat by facing a formidable enemy in the land that was promised to his forefathers, but God knew of the anxious spirit within Joshua.

Much like Joshua, you and I are in a state of transition. We are transitioning from the comfort of being led every step of the way to the discomfort of becoming independent and assuming new responsibilities. During this transition, we will face much adversity and many trials. An example of such burdens are statistics that claim that more than 75% of our class will not graduate from college.

Much like Joshua, maybe you are experiencing anxiety, self-doubt, or feelings of inadequacy. You’re undecided in major, or you’re a first-generation college student, or maybe you are just insecure about what lies ahead. While these thoughts plague you, I am here to tell you that there is hope. In Joshua 1:9, God says to Joshua and he says to you today, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

God has entrusted you with gifts, with talents, with intelligence, but never forget that He has also placed on you a calling. Each and every one of you has a unique purpose for which you have been born. I would be lying if I were to say that all of you here are becoming rich, but I do not lie in saying that if you live under his will you will be fulfilled and blessed. Honor God, keep his commandments, and serve Him alone. Do not allow yourself to be a reed swayed by the criticism and actions of others but stand firm in the promises of He who is faithful and unchanging.

If God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are valuable and are loved. If God says you are his servant, He will uphold you with his righteous right hand and you will not be subject to a statistic. You will overcome because you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.

I will finish with this, 1 Corinthians 2:9 declares, “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.’” Class of 2018, persist in God and He will persist in you. Never give up, and never lose faith. God bless you and thank you for the incredible memories.

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