Plano Senior High graduate Sef Scott speaks at his school's graduation at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on June 9.
Screen capture from Plano Independent School District's YouTube page

Sef Scott knew he was about to do something unexpected when he addressed the senior class of Plano Senior High at a graduation ceremony on June 9 in Frisco, Texas.

Normally, he doesn't choose to speak, he told a crowd gathered in a sports arena that seats thousands. That's because he is a student with learning differences: autism and a social communication disorder, he said.

But he came prepared to do something unexpected. 

He spoke for about six minutes, giving an inspirational, uplifting message: Defy expectations, live the life you want to live and surprise the world with kindness.

A video of the speech was posted to the Plano Independent School District's YouTube page.

He peppered the speech with jokes, at one point musing: “Yes, I have autism, but I am also a smart aleck. Unexpected, right?”

The crowd erupted into applause.

He said he was inspired by his brother — a brain tumor survivor who frequently does speeches to raise money.

Sef said he worked with family to craft his graduation speech word-by-word. He wanted to inspire people in the audience to follow his example: Do the unexpected.

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June 9: A valedictorian went off-script to talk about sexual assault. Then her school cut her mic.

That can be done in the little things, he said: Let people cut in line; donate tickets you don’t need; say “thank you” to the grocery bagger.

Or it can be done in the big things: Charting your own course in life when others have different plans for you.

“Are your next steps where you want to go?" he asked. “Don’t follow someone else’s dreams … do the unexpected.”