An autistic high school senior in Texas received a standing ovation after he delivered his class’ graduation speech.
‘Unexpected. That is what I want you to remember. Unexpected,’ Plano High School senior Sef Scott opened his moving speech.
And for many, that’s just what the usually nonverbal teen’s speech was.
Scott, who usually does not electively speak, took to the podium to deliver a touching six-minute speech – marking a personal record for the senior, according to CBS.
Plano High School senior Sef Scott, who is on the autism spectrum, delivered a moving graduation speech on Friday
The Texas senior said he was an unexpected choice of speaker as he does not usually electively speak yet wowed the crowds with his inspiring speech
‘First and foremost, I would imagine that to the seniors that know who I am that it is entirely unexpected that I would be standing here giving this speech,’ he said.
‘Let me briefly explain this unexpected choice of speaker. My name is Sef Scott and I am a student with learning differences. To be more specific, I have autism and a social communication disorder,’ he added.
He then urged the graduating class to do the unexpected adding ‘Just by being here speaking to all of you — me — that alone is unexpected’, awarding him a round of applause from the audience.
Scott shared that he meticulously planned each word of his speech with the help of his mother and his brother, a nine-year brain tumor survivor who devotes his time to giving speeches to raise money for charity.
He congratulated the graduating class and cracked a few jokes adding ‘Yes, I have autism, but I am also a smart alec. Unexpected, right?’
The speaker inspired his class with his touching speech at the Plano High School graduation ceremony on Friday
Finishing his speech where he encouraged classmates to do the ‘unexpected’ in good deeds to others and in their career paths, he received a standing ovation from the crowds
He then encouraged his classmates to be unexpected in their career goals but also in everyday life by bringing joy to the people around them through the simplest acts of kindness.
He suggested good deeds such as allowing others to take one’s place in line, donating unused event tickets to families in need, and saying ‘thank you for doing a great job’ to the person with special needs bagging groceries at the local supermarket.
‘You can sprinkle unexpected moments throughout your everyday life that can benefit those around you with very little effort on your part,’ he said.
On as similar vein he urged the graduating class to do the unexpected and follow their own dreams rather than what people around them expect them to achieve.
‘Don’t follow someone else’s dreams. Don’t waste time on something you never wanted. Do the unexpected. It is your life that you are living, not someone else’s so do what fulfills you,’ he said.
‘Be unexpected like me, do the unexpected for the benefit of others, live the expected for your own happiness. Congratulations to the Plano Senior High School graduating class of 2018. Best wishes to you all,’ he closed out his speech.
As he walked away from the podium the stadium roared with applause and he received a standing ovation for his wise words.
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