JEFF CAPLAN'S MINUTE OF NEWS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Graduation Speech of the year

May 23, 2024, 6:00 AM

Graduation rate...

High School graduation is underway across the state. Utah typically falls in the upper 80% for graduation rate. Photo: Canva

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — In a spring full of controversial graduation speeches, none stands out more than the words of high school Valedictorian in Texas. His name is Alem Hadzic. He’s 18 years old, and at his Texas high school, he stood up on the podium and shared a family secret. 

“My father died yesterday, May 15th, 2024,” Hadzic confessed in his speech. “And I attended his funeral today, right before graduation.”

“That’s why my shoes are muddy,” he continued. “That’s why my arms are shaking. Because I had to carry him to his grave and bury him.”

There were gasps and audience members were openly weeping.

Alem’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January. He died the day before graduation. So his shoes muddy, arms shaking, the young man held it together to make a promise and honor his dad — an immigrant who valued nothing more than education and hard work.

“And that’s why I’m gonna go to college and I’m gonna spend every hour of every day working as hard as I can to achieve all of my goals because that’s what he wanted.”

He implored his fellow graduates to do the same and honor their families.

The audience cheered Alem and they cried, and they lifted him up.

Alem Hadzic. Valedictorian at Early College High School. Class of 24.

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

Other Minutes of News:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Jeff Caplan's Minute of News

Blue-collar influencers...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Blue-collar influencers are making BANK on TikTok

Blue-collar influencers like plumbers and construction workers are raking in the cash. Some are earning high six figures!

6 hours ago

Jack Walpole stays cool by sitting in his chair in the water as he and his family enjoy the day at ...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Fisherman catches the Big One!

James Kane has been magnet fishing in Queens since the pandemic. His tireless work paid off this week, when he reeled in a safe.

7 hours ago

The lawsuit was filed in Tallahassee minutes after a Disney World oversight board appointed by DeSa...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Disney debt

Financial advisors will warn you against going deep into debt. But sometimes you have to. It’s a part of life. And so is going to Disney.

12 hours ago

It looks like GenZ is getting tired of online dating....

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The decline of online dating

Gen Z is getting tired of online dating. What's next?

15 hours ago

It’s the first annual Miss AI Pageant. Each of the contestants is so beautiful they could stop tr...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Miss AI Pageant

The women are artificial. The prize money is real.

4 days ago

Like their namesakes in the desert west, the ice cowboys of Canada are in the midst of the annual r...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Hot enough for ya, cowboy?

In the brittle cold Maritime provinces, the perpetual clouds are parting for a month or two, and the ice cowboys are going to work.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Graduation Speech of the year