High School Valedictorian Gives Moving Speech Hours After Dad’s Funeral: 'I'm Going to Do It For Him'

"I can’t throw something away that he worked so hard for me to achieve," Alem Hadzic said during his graduation speech

<p>Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District</p> Alem Hadzic

Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District

Alem Hadzic

A Texas high school graduate is making his father proud.

On May 16, 18-year-old Early College High School valedictorian Alem Hadzic took the stage at his graduation to give his speech just hours after his father's funeral. Only a handful of people knew his father had died, leaving most of the audience shocked when he shared what he had been through that day.

According to The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Hadzic’s father had been diagnosed with cancer during his senior year and died just one day before his high school graduation.

“My father died yesterday, May 15, 2024, and I attended his funeral today, right before graduation,” Hadzic said in his speech, per a video posted on Facebook. “That’s why my shoes are muddy and my arms are shaking, because I had to carry him into his grave and bury him.”

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Hadzic’s words were met with gasps as he revealed that his father’s funeral had taken place the same day of the graduation.

“I can’t stand up here and pretend I want to be doing this speech right now but I can’t throw something away that he worked so hard for me to achieve,” he continued.

He then revealed that he was going to go to college and planned to “spend every hour of every day working as hard as I can to achieve all of my goals because that’s what he wanted.”

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An emotional Hadzic added, “I’m going to do it for him.”

The bright graduate then asked everyone to look to their loved ones and say they would do the same for them.

After receiving a standing ovation, Hadzic walked over to accept his diploma before taking pictures with his teachers.

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Speaking to FOX 4’s Good Day, Hadzic said he was able to deal with his mix of emotions by going off-script during his speech.

“I started reading the script and when I got to the part about my dad, I couldn’t just read off a script anymore,” he said. “I had to talk about my experience, and I had to talk from the heart."

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