Sandy Springs senior honors his late mother in valedictorian speech

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 9:04 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - On Wednesday, Andy Wyatt honored his late mother during his valedictorian speech at the Riverwood International Charter School graduation.

“I tried to write the speech in her honor as much as I could,” said Wyatt, in an interview with CBS46 on Thursday. “So, a lot of the themes of goodbye from the passing show up in the speech,” he said.

Wyatt said he was nervous approaching the podium.

The last time he spoke publicly about his mom, who died from cancer in 2018, he broke down.

Sandy Springs senior honors mom in valedictorian speech
Sandy Springs senior honors mom in valedictorian speech(Andy Wyatt)

“I almost felt like her speaking to me towards the beginning of the speech and her just telling me, stay calm,” said Wyatt.

Weaving through the turbulence of change, for roughly six minutes, Wyatt urged his classmates to embrace the nostalgia but live in the now. It’s a perspective he said he adopted after his mom’s emotional death.

“You have to meet people where you are and you have to be with them right in the present,” Wyatt said.

Lynn Wyatt died in November 2018 after a long battle with breast cancer. Her obituary details her as an avid volunteer. She had a passion for friends and the search for a cure for cancer.

Andy said he tries to embody her tenacity.

“Very tough, determined, extremely motivated to do just about anything,” Andy remembered.

In the fall, Andy plans to attend the University of Georgia where his mom attended.