Carlos Juarez, Elizabeth Cardona and Brady Allen. Photo courtesy of Claire Mommessin Allen via Facebook.

A W.T. White alumna gave the Student Expression of Appreciation speech at her college graduation last weekend.

Elizabeth Cardona, who received a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering, gave the speech at her Texas A&M graduation ceremony. She also gave a speech at her W.T. White graduation, as as salutatorian of the class of 2017.

Cardona started by dedicating her talk to and thanking her mother, who was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer when Cardona was a sophomore in college.

The former Longhorn said her grades began to drop after her mother’s diagnosis, but she was able to recover through the help of friends, classmates and others.

“The list of Aggies who were instrumental to my success spans dozens,” she said. “And I’m positive that sentiment is shared among my classmates.”

Cardona reflected on the difficult circumstances the class of 2021 experienced during their four years, including a hurricane, a snowstorm and a pandemic, which sparked the transition to virtual learning during the second half of their time in college.

“But as we take a second and reflect, we realize how even during these trying times, Aggies remained steadfast in the face of adversity,” Cardona said. “Our core value, servant leadership, became more evident than ever as Aggies everywhere rose to action to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 within our community.”

Watch Cardona’s speech below.

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