In her graduation speech, Michelle A. Wen ’21 recalled an email that she received from her father as she was starting Riverdale.

She said he wrote of the importance of putting your mind and heart into everything you do. “Riverdale taught me the value of having heart in what you do,” she said. “It is not enough to put your mind in something if your heart doesn’t follow along.”

He wrote about the new friends that she would make, and she encouraged the class to think about the impact that an environment has on a person and to be thoughtful about “who we bring into our lives.”

He told her about the strengths that she would bring to her new school. Change is scary, she said, but it is rewarding. Quoting the singer Taylor Swift, she said: “Life isn’t how to survive the storm it is about how to dance in the rain.”