Since opening in 1996, more than 3,000 young men and women have earned their high school diplomas at Ombudsman Arizona Alternative Charter Schools. The Class of 2018 saw 306 students earn their diplomas – our largest graduating class ever!

For many students, Ombudsman offers the best path to help them overcome personal, economic, or academic challenges as they work toward their degree.

We’re featuring the commencement speeches of four Tucson-area graduates from the Class of 2018 here on the blog this month.

This is Seamus Kehl’s Ombudsman Arizona Charter success story.

“Standing up here giving this speech comes as a huge surprise to me. I wasn’t even planning on coming to this ceremony until two weeks ago when I got a call from Ms. Webb and Ms. Parker. I remember Ms. Parker saying, “What do you mean you’re not coming! You’re giving a speech!” I bet you could imagine how shocked I was. Many here have faced difficult obstacles from poverty to broken families and everything in between. Personally, I have been my own obstacle. Without sounding like I know what you’ve been through, I think I have some advice we can all use.


With the fearlessness and the wisdom, you are able to obtain you will also be obtain strength and power. The strength to do whatever it is you want and the power to control your own life.


There are people out there, they could be strangers, friends, and even family. These people can make you feel insecure, like you’re not good enough or like you don’t matter. Most of all though they will tell you what you can and can’t do, if you choose to listen and believe them, you will live in fear of those limitations. Please don’t allow yourself to do that. You must disconnect yourself from the viewpoint of others and realize you are in control of your own life. Once you do this those limitations that you were once afraid of will disappear and you will become absolutely fearless.

Now, for high school some of us finished on time but a lot of us finished late or didn’t finish at all. But no matter the case, we all follow our own paths. For many of us high school was somewhat of a battle. This battle left many of us with scars, mentally and physically and some more than others. It wasn’t always easy – so to those that were able to pull through, I applaud you. Now it’s up to each of us to turn those scars into wisdom.

With the fearlessness and the wisdom, you are able to obtain you will also be obtain strength and power. The strength to do whatever it is you want and the power to control your own life.
I hope you take advantage of my advice. Thank you and congratulations class of 2018.”