DERRY — Pinkerton Academy’s top two students hope to make a difference in the world once they leave their high school classrooms.
Both are already on their way to making that happen.
Valedictorian Dylan Mahalingam and salutatorian Patrick Doolittle already have a big head start on success. At commencement Monday, both told fellow classmates to aim high and reach for those stars.
Dylan, 17, is no stranger to making a difference and striving to help others.
He is the founder of Lil’MDGs, an international youth empowerment organization galvanizing the collective power of youth to forward the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
He has won numerous awards for his volunteerism and commitment to helping children in need, including being named one of 25 most powerful and influential young people in the world by Youth Service America and The Huffington Post.
Patrick has also earned many awards and honors at Pinkerton, including being named a national finalist in the American Legion’s Constitutional Oratorical Speech Contest. He represented Pinkerton at Boys State and was also a national delegate.
During his address Monday, Dylan told fellow classmates he truly only got to know a small group of them well, but made many connections not only in friendships but in learning and those who inspired him to do well.
“When it comes down to it, I’ve met a pretty accomplished bunch of people,” he said. “I’m amazed at what the people I know have done over this time, just as I know that all of you feel the same way about the people you know.”
Dylan said society is like a giant social environment, an intricate web and network of interactions and relationships filled with friends, enemies, lovers, rivals, acquaintances and so much more.
“It’s beautiful to think about, as though there’s a web connecting us all, with strings tying individual people together,” he said. “There are so many of those strings in the web that are yet to be tied, and there are so many that will eventually be cut.”