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Graduation Speech

Graduation Speech

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Published by: Gabrielle Camille Advincula Cortez on Jul 13, 2011
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Top 10 Graduation Songs 1. I Believe I Can Fly: R Kelly (1996) 2. Graduation Song: Vitamin C (2000) 3.

We Are the Champions: Queen (1977) 4. Don't Stop Believing: Journey (1981) 5. Time of Your Life: Green Day (1997) 6. I'm Coming Out: Diana Ross (1980) 7. School's Out: Alice Cooper (1972) 8. Lean on Me: Bill Withers (1972) 9. It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine): R.E.M. (1987) 10. Breakaway: Kelly Clarkson (2004) Top Graduation Songs of All Time 

With a Little Help from My Friends: The Beatles (1967) Sunscreen: Baz Luhrmann (1999) Do I Make You Proud: Taylor Hicks (2006) The Times They are a-Changin': Bob Dylan (1964) Billionnaire: Travie McCoy (2010) Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1993) I Made It: Kevin Rudolf (2010) Through the Years: Kenny Rogers (1981) Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own: U2 (2005) Remember Me: Hoobastank (2002) Whenever You Remember: Carrie Underwood (2005) One Step at A Time: Jordin Sparks (2008) Fight for This Love: Chery Cole (2009) Young Forever: Jay-Z (2010) Live like We're Dying: Kris Allen (2009) Fly: Sugar Ray (1997) Arms Wide Open: Creed (2000) End of the Road: Boyz II Men (1992) I'm Moving On: Rascal Flatts (2001) I'll be There for You: The Rembrandts (1995) On My Way: Phil Collins Graduation Day: Chris Isaak Today: Smashing Pumpkins (1993) 100 Years: Five for Fighting (2003) High School Never Ends: Bowling for Soup (2006) Leaving Home Ain't So Easy: Queen (1978) These are the Special Times: Celine Dion (1998) Forever Young: Rod Stewart (1988) Last Goodbye: Jeff Buckley (1994) Don't Look Back: Boston (1978) Goodbye: Spice Girls (1998)

They have learned to love learning and that skill will help them so much as they progress with their education. This school places great emphasis on being part of the community. I feel really delighted at the way the children love coming here to school and look forward to what they learn. Seeing the big smiles on their faces in the morning is fantastic. This is a lifelong skill which will help all of us flourish. . Our children have learned so much. the happy smiling faces says so much about the environment here at the CAP Center. Just looking around. The school places great value on community. So. but just as important is love and friendship. learning and fun. the love you have for the children shines through in their results and thank you to all the parents who have willingly given their time. They are important. It is also due recognition for the outstanding work of the staff and also a pretty emotional day for the parents.                      Time after Time: Cyndi Lauper (1984) Pictures of You: The Last Goodnight (2007) Photograph: Nickelback (2005) It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday: Boyz II Men (2001) I Will Remember You: Sarah Mclachlan (1995) Here's To The Night: Eve 6 (2001) Goodbye To You: Michelle Branch (2002) This Is The Time to Remember: Billy Joel You Learn: Alanis Morissette (1996) Firework: Katy Perry (2010) I Gotta Feeling: Black Eyed Peas (2009) The Climb: Miley Cyrus (2009) I Dare You: Shinedown (2005) Born Free: Kid Rock (2010) Learn to Live: Darius Rucker (2008) Not Afraid: Eminem (2010) Throw Your Hands Up: Jump5 Letter to Me: Brad Paisley (2007) Say Goodbye: S Club (2003) Thank You: Dido (2000) There You'll Be: Faith Hill (2001) Unwritten: Natasha Bedingfield (2004) I Hope You Dance: Leann Womack (2000) We are gathered here today for Fresh Start Learning Center's Graduation. Life is not just about learning to read and write. thank you to the teachers. It may seem slightly old fashioned but a sense of community to me is very important to the future of our nation and our children. This is a great occasion in the lives of all the children.

still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. it is a turning point from when it is time to take responsibilities and earn one s own bread ideally. Hug your Dad. Oh. Each time you look at your diploma. It is a moment when you celebrate your accomplishments with your peers. take the blessing and run with it.Looking ahead our children are very well equiped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have learned many priceless lessons. who could enjoy the privilege of education. laugh and be all you can be. So have no fear. Though there are people who do start taking responsibilities from a very tender age Graduation can be the second most memorable moment in a person's life (marriage being the first one!). But. And sometimes. Get a life in. I know this for sure our calling isn't something that somebody can tell you about. . You know it inside yourself. Send an e-mail. I am very honored to be with you today as you celebrate. if not. making it a day awaited with bated breath.   One of the most important days of our life. love learning. It's what you feel. The graduation ceremony is a melange of emotions. Write a letter. Pick up the phone. be part of the community. It's a part of your life force. Thank you. God has got your back. That only through being grateful for how far you've come in your past can you leave room for more blessings to flow. It is the thing that gives you juice. And nobody can tell you what that is. sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do. because this is what I know for sure. Have no fear. Abide in the space of gratitude. Every one of us has a calling. So don't expect the perfect job that defines your life's work to come along next week. be grateful to be on the path where you eventually want to live. yes. Take on challenges. If that happens. remember that you are still a student. Graduation paves the way for our career as well for further studies. graduation is a day which marks the commence of a new phase of our life. I stand here a symbol of what is possible when you believe in the dream of your own life. The thing that are you supposed to do. There is a reason why you are here. Kiss your Mom. along with pride and satisfaction there is this anxiety about future and a sinking feeling about bidding farewell to friends and alma materThis day marks the years of work that have gone into achieving something you really wanted. be loving. Graduation is an important event of every individual s life. They have strong foundations and we feel very confident that we have given the children a great start in life. What parent would not give a million dollars for their children to have that attitude all their lives. Thank you very much for your kind introduction.

" . Everything in your life is happening to teach you more about yourself so even in a crisis.. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way. . awareness of what is so real and essential. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit. it is time for you to go out and make them even prouder.Blessings flow in the space of gratitude. ==> Understand the difference between process and purpose« and never begin a day without being able to articulate that purpose« even if it's only to yourself. ==> Continue to grow intellectually« and listen to the little alarm inside you that sounds when stagnation or boredom« or becoming a know-it-all« begin to creep up on your.. and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?" . be grateful. ==> And understand that whatever else may fail you« whatever bad luck or failure may befall you« your personal integrity is always in your own hands and can never be taken from you." "This is water. so hidden in plain sight all around us. ==> Tackle the toughest jobs and challenges« and watch yourself do more« and learn more« than you ever dreamed possible. be grateful. simple awareness. be grateful that you have sense enough to turn it around.. boys. When disappointed. When things aren't going the way you want them to. who nods at them and says "Morning. I'd like to share some of that advice with you.. This concludes my offering to you on your big day: the simplest and best advice I could think of« advice that I will continue to follow as my own career continues: ==> Grow your self-confidence« and move quickly to repair it when it is damaged by the setbacks and failures and mistakes that lie ahead for us all. Congratulations to you all« and to the families that love you and have supported you during these important years. ==> Know yourself« particularly your weaknesses« and don't let a day pass without moving toward eliminating them. all the time. With the self-confidence you have earned. that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: "This is water.

And congratulations! Always aim high. First. We live in a world where technology has connected us in ways that we could never have imagined even a decade ago. you don't get derailed. you've got to seize opportunity. I want to encourage all of you to find some way to give back. a life lived well and with purpose. . Believe in yourself. be a little daring. and above all. It's unpredictable. Sometimes you're just trying to find the nearest exit. Sometimes you're stuck in 5 o'clock traffic. Thank you. As I said at the start. Never give up. you've got to have focus²the ability to see the big picture. Because life keeps you guessing. roll with the punches. the courage to dig in and persevere²so that when life throws you a curve. But the things that really matter still matter most. We're all grateful for your sacrifice. Sometimes the road stretches straight ahead. Challenge yourself to pursue the impossible. a great adventure. And one thing you'll discover is that²more often than not²what at first appear to be roadblocks and setbacks are the very things that'll get you where you were meant to be. To succeed. life has no limits. So go forward. awesome. And I want to give a special thanks to those of you here today who have answered the call to serve in our nation's armed forces or have loved ones overseas fighting to defend our freedom. The impact of that choice will not only improve the lives of others. And to live fully. Don't settle for what you know you can accomplish. And may today be the beginning of a new journey. and you'll go further than you could ever imagine. keep your head in the game! That's what I tell my girls. we're all lifelong learners. thrilling. No matter what you do in life.I want to leave you with one final thought. it will enlarge and enrich yours as well.

I look at you 2. I know. Before I start my remarks. because when we walked through for the procession. two. everybody. because your adventure is just beginning. When you see a challenge. But don't do it just for yourself -. One. Very simply ² so everyone can kind of just get to know everyone else ² on the count of three. but you are not entitled to make the same mistake twice. There¶s that old joke. And those of you graduating here today know that better than anyone.We live in a world that is changing faster than ever. just rear back and kick the door open." and "blogging" weren't even everyday words. that goes "no matter where you go. I am touched. You have many challenges and triumphs ahead. distinguished platform party. And to keep up." "TiVoing. When all else fails." But now more than ever. The person who you¶re with most in life is yourself and if you don¶t like yourself you¶re always with somebody you don¶t like.do it also for those who follow you. don't get discouraged.. reach for it. please do that. I'd like everyone to turn around and shake the hand of the person sitting right behind you. Your families and your parents are so proud of your achievements. friends. there you are. That¶s the real reason not to lie or cheat or turn away in fear. And if you don't succeed. it's just a blip on the radar screen. three ² right now. and you're entitled. That means we all must be lifelong learners. an inquisitive mind. "Googling. Next year. To everyone else. The way to be happy is to like yourself. pick yourself up and try again.045 graduates who celebrate today. "Nobody else is paying as much attention to your failures as you are. and so many proud faces. life is a very serious game. we all must adapt and grow. I won't even get into "online dating. You have worked hard. when you hit a closed door and it doesn't open easily.." That¶s true. guests and the very reason for our presence here today ² the members of the class of 2003. not very funny. I'd like everyone just to do something for me. But today my advice to you is the same: Keep learning because you just never know what life has in store for you next. many of you will head back to school to continue your education." TRANSCRIPT Thank you Chancellor Wiley. Just remember my Studebaker. Learn from your successes. Some of you will return to your careers. and do it. It's OK to make a mistake. Just think when most of you were in high school. Keep an open mind. we can't afford to fall behind the times. so just move on. And others of you will start entirely new ones. grab it. . which you are generous. Learn from your failures. I saw so many smiling faces.

#1. I drove from Madison. We appeared on the "Tonight" show. where my college graduation ceremony was in progress. I want to give you some advice on how to get there. getting there was the easy part. Wisconsin. Don't think about your future. and at the time I just didn't see the point. However." . though. What's Joey Bishop like?" Eventually I got over the embarrassment. because they were afraid I'd be coming back. Not because I was leaving. For years I ran into people who would stop me and say. A few years later. you find a "there" there. luck and a willingness to tell actors how beautiful they look today. is tough enough. but I never got those years back ² years I spent waiting for some future event to make me happy. Joey Bishop was the guest host. Actually. putting up their homes and children as collateral. but then you'll miss all the celebrating and adulation. On the way. I think. especially right now. would've bet large sums of money against it.. but it meant I would've arrived in Hollywood one day later. Gertrude Stein once said about Hollywood. So today. there will be a swimming pool and tennis court. Huh. California. You'll miss my speech. "As soon as I get there. And I want to help make sure that when you get there. When I graduated from college. it's probably not enough to justify a life's journey. it happened. So. To that end." That's true. "Hey. "When you get there. My parents cried when I left for California. I spent a lot of time thinking about how cool it would be to be on the Johnny Carson show. I'll be OK. quickly forget. In retrospect. Finding a "there" there is much harder. there is no 'there' there. ambition. We were dreadful. I thought about going to the ceremony. before you get into your cars and race off to the rest of your lives. So just wait until you get home and have a good think about something that will happen in the future that will make you happy. Not one teacher I ever had in grade school. (but) rather. You need a combination of talent.So. Getting there. particularly in show business. to Los Angeles. There will be plenty of time to contemplate your future right after the ceremony. I passed Camp Randall. given the opportunity. I will give you my five rules to think about. I wanted to get there. I guess you still have a few things to learn. not because I'm vindictive ² although in a few minutes I'm going to read the names of all the people in my life who never thought I would amount to anything ² but because life should be unpredictable. Many. high school or college would've believed that there was even the slightest chance that one day I would be asked to give the commencement address at a major university. but years from now kick yourself for not having listened to. thirty-one years ago today. I saw you on the "Tonight" show. I really like the idea of that. In the end. And I'm very grateful that I never wasted any time trying to become somebody else's image of what I should be. I had tricked myself into thinking..

all these people had the same regret. Zubatsky's law. So get out there and go for it. Right at this moment in your life. never assume that just because it's someone's job. "If only. Suddenly she leaned over the balcony and shouted down to the professional firefighters. don't let yourself be intimidated by professionals or their uniforms. She watched anxiously as the firemen struggled with their ladders. Sometimes it comes.I work in a business where almost everyone is waiting for the next big thing. pointed the hose at the fire and extinguished the blaze in about 40 seconds. Mrs. I never knew anyone in the movie business. They dropped their ladders. You have nothing to lose. And now I have furniture ² lots of furniture. responded immediately. and I said.. Zubatsky. because really nothing ever happens in the future. It's great to plan for your future. When they graduated from college. but I could afford to fail. and I found out that. and there were many failures. amazingly. Everything you have acquired of value is locked inside you. don't call your friends and tell them to watch until after you've seen it. And two. now is the time to pursue it. . my God. #2: Don't do anything that 30 years from now you'll look back at and say. Zubatsky was our next door neighbor and. sadly.. It meant I had to start from scratch and figure out where I fit in. "I have a better idea. This probably needs a little explanation. they know how to do it. our house caught on fire in Milwaukee. they bought furniture. One day when I was a kid." And like her. I didn't have money. unless you count jury duty. "Oh. But. If you have a dream. why the hell did I do that?!" I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone start a sentence with. I sat on my porch and I watched someone else do it. That world had a mystique that made it seem unattainable to me. But it doesn't matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. Just don't live there. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with no employable skills. when I was younger. Whatever happens happens now. to their credit. I was one of the lucky ones. you are in a unique position that you may never ever be in again. I found something I loved. at the time. One. Growing up in Wisconsin. I never even knew anyone who knew anyone in the movie business." So I did a little informal survey for you. But I found out what I was good at. so live your life where the action is ² now. A large section of the wood shingle roof was burning as the fire trucks pulled up. The firemen ran into the back yard with a large hose and began assembling their metal ladders and positioning them against the house. she was standing on her upstairs porch taking in the laundry. "Forget the ladders! Just point the hose at the fire!" The firemen. but don't be caught waiting. before you buy furniture. I would have. There are two morals to this story. and sometimes it doesn't. And one more thing: If you're going to be on television. like Mrs. I seized the moment.. #3: Mrs.

but John just smiled and said. are you going to finish that pie?" I found that advice very liberating ² that the only one who my big failure was truly big for was me. It's just not so easy with actual human beings. sorry. "Top Secret." "I just love the new Justin Guarini CD. Ask yourself one question: If I didn't have to do it perfectly. We knew him from the Paramount lot and he could see right away that we were in a funk. #5: The next time you go into a restaurant. so just move on. you can try to remove everything that you find distasteful in the world. what would I try? For many of you. of embarrassment. the biggest obstacle to getting there will be a fear that you have carried with your since childhood ² the fear of humiliation.. fail big. Throw your hat into the ring and never let professionals or their uniforms prevent you from telling anyone where to point their hose. if your plan makes more sense. It's just the way people talk and it's probably harmless. but if you work at it and you get it right.." Everyone overuses the word "love. . Art is knowing which ones to keep. So I thanked him and told him how beautiful he looked today. To everyone else. The real thing is great. And I always save a little piece for John Travolta. OK. You're the only ones who are obsessed with the importance of your own life. which brings me to Travolta's law. if you have a vision. It's the only thing that the more you give away. and now when I fail big. the more you have. "Guys. then put down your laundry and scream a little bit. they say "Love ya. Think of the world as a big glass of water with some salt in it. But really. the thing you have to remember is (that) nobody else is paying as much attention to your failures as you are. My brother David and Jim Abrahams and I were having pie at Rumpelmeyer's Coffee Shop in New York on the day after our third movie. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. explaining the pain of our humiliating misfortune.If you have a better idea. "Can I get some ketchup?" You're supposed to say. it will make you happier than anything else you do in your life. please don't look at the waitress and say. of ridicule." In Hollywood. you're never going to make a difference. By the way. That is SO stupid! Oh . I just go out and have a piece of apple pie and I move on. babe!" So. Amazingly. If you don't. more often than not he shows up to eat it. The reviews were terrible and it was bombing at the box office. #4: If you're going to fail. You have a choice." "I really love those little things they put on the chicken sandwiches at Subway. We immediately poured out our heart to him. but you shouldn't forget the real thing. You can try to pick out all the salt or you can keep pouring in more water so eventually it gets less bitter. As you begin your new journey." opened. it's just a blip on the radar screen." "I love your shoes. I'm not sure what we were expecting. Just a personal pet peeve of mine. The real #5: Don't overuse the word "love. I get it. We were really getting into some serious moping and selfflagellation when John Travolta walked in. you have to stop caring about that. "May I please have some ketchup?" Sorry ² that doesn't count. or you can just pour in more love.

it was decided that I should take piano lessons. That morning. that is." I would like to dedicate this Commencement speech and my honorary degree to the memory of my mother and my father. you are giving your mother the best gift that she could ever receive--and that is the gift of having earned a University degree. after three years. fuzzy stuff you've been hiding and spread it around a little. President Payton. you can fail at anything. I swear." I believe I was asked to speak to you today on this most auspicious occasion of your Commencement because we have a lot in common. They practiced a work ethic and they instilled in me a work ethic. but I was very excited that I was at last going to play my song in front of an audience. This is a true story. you will find a "there" there. When I was a young boy of only 7. you can go anywhere. Mr. graduates just by being here today. D. I got the chicken pox and. Nobody was willing to tell me that I had no musical talent whatsoever. Dillman twitched visibly when my name was mentioned at his funeral. . Finally. the faculty. The day of the recital arrived. story from my childhood. both biologically and philosophically. Commencements speechThank you. If you do that. And. and wherever you are. but true.) Congratulations! Welcome to real life! You graduated from the University of Wisconsin! You can do anything! Thank you. but by the happiness of the people around you. For without them. because you'll bring it with you. graduates will receive their degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. Itasker Frances and Donald Everett Thornton. which actually turned out to be an improvement over high school. There comes a time for everything. No. (Jerry played a flawed version of "On Wisconsin. Believe me. I will finally get to play my song in front of an audience. be underrated and underestimated. you can do anything. I would not be standing here before you today. I think you will see that the lesson is patience." inviting the audience to sing along. I was invited by my piano teacher.So take all that warm. But today I've taken the liberty of bringing with me a small keyboard and. with your permission. to play in a recital. I was told recently that Mr. Dillman. by the way. I would also like to thank the Board of Trustees. administration and graduates for the opportunity to address this historic graduating Class of 2003 of Tuskegee University where the first Ph. tragically. I am not one of those Commencement speakers who went from "jail to Yale" or from being "homeless to Harvard. I never got to play my song. I swear to you (that) this is the song that I learned to play after three years ² the only song I know how to play on the piano. And then judge yourself not by your accomplishments. I would like to conclude with a sad. So. and then concluded his remarks. "it s the gift that keeps on giving. I can't answer for others. I studied piano for three years and learned to play one song poorly.

it is an American University. But. she was consigned to cleaning other peoples houses. they were totally dismissed and were thought of as consolation prizes because the real prize . with its traditions. Someone once said." Excellence is the antidote to racism. a janitor. the luckier you become. cooking their meals. private teachers college in West Long Branch. The elements you have learned at Tuskegee should now be forged into that special compound we call "excellence. culture and pride. slaves and pioneers your ancestors and mine. sexism and nepotism. But. These two disparate chapters in the history of Tuskegee have now come together and have culminated into two great initiatives that I believe will secure the continued excellence at Tuskegee University. The worst being the "Tuskegee experiment" conducted by the United States Public Health Service to study the long-term effects of untreated syphilis on hundreds and hundreds of Black men in Macon County. My mother was a cleaning woman who also worked in the factories and sweatshops outside of New York City. scrubbing their floors." I have found that the harder you work. a laborer. before affirmative action. entitled. but rather an opportunity. and Al Jolson on bended knee singing. known as Monmouth College and you are graduating from a renowned Historically Black University in Alabama. What is luck? Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. or equal opportunity. queens and kings of Europe." These were our role models. Our role models at that time were Ethel Waters with her clothesbasket full of laundry. N. Tuskegee University is not just a Black University. you will recall that I came from a family of six children--all girls and no boys! This was over 50 years ago. the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. in Black-face. my mother had three years of college at a former Historically Black University known as Bluefield State Teachers College. However. However. who dropped out of high school in the tenth grade. over half a century. and washing their clothes. The diploma you receive today should not be thought of as a reward. the strength and true greatness of this country we call America was built on the backs and with the blood and sweat of immigrants. "Mammy . "The key to success is hard work and a little luck.J. Tuskegee has experienced both the worst and the best in race relations in this country. The first being the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care and the second. The parcels of land that eventually would become America may have been decreed by noblemen. The Ditchdigger s Daughters. my parents had a dream for their daughters. Title IX. "Butterfly McQueen" in the movie Gone with the Wind saying. My father was a ditchdigger. They wanted all of us to become doctors (physicians). an obligation to go forward and continue the life-long process of learning. The best was embodied in the Tuskegee Airmen who performed over 200 bomber escort missions in World War II without losing a single bomber to enemy aircraft. I also understand that there is an on-going Aviation Science program. For those of you who have read my family biography. Unlike my father. of course. As far as being a woman. "I don t know nothin bout birthin no babies!. because she did not complete her four years and did not get her diploma (that "sheepskin" as she would call it). which was a preposterous idea fifty years ago.I graduated almost 35 years ago from a small. a commitment.." Rochester with Jack Benny.

As you heard from Dr. it was this dream of my parents that hardened into a single-minded determination that fueled our lives for many years to come. your career is over. people may not want to come to see you." "You re 15 or 16 years old now. in those days. "Don t let anyone define who you are. the Thornton Sisters? My oldest sister. that ain t a pretty sight to see! But if you are educated. we did not become forgotten musicians or faded recording artists. there is no limit to what you can accomplish! Because my parents revered education. became a court stenographer. except our parents who believed in us when no one else did. Lena Horne. A few years later. Donna. wrinkled skin and arthritic fingers. my foster sister became a nurse . who played tenor saxophone in the band. then they will come to you because you are respected and are valued. but they will have to come to see you because you have a skill and knowledge. my mother. people love you today. Halle Berry or. Before American Idol or Star Search. My father told me. but if you look to the future when you are 50 or 60 years old. "Girls. if you are a doctor. they all told me that they had never had seen a Black doctor. We told our father to forget about the doctor dream because we were now making money. if Buckwheat ever had a sister." "What you can conceive in your mind. if you are a doctor with those scripperscraps (stethoscopes) hanging around your neck. I would run crying to my father saying that when I told my classmates that I was going to be a doctor. or what s a heaven for? Let your aims be high. productive women who made that leap up the social mobility ladder from poverty to prosperity in one generation! What happened to the Ditchdigger s Daughters. much less a woman doctor. with gray hair. if you are educated and have a skill. We looked more like the sisters of Buckwheat. high school dropouts and on welfare. well-respected. not a season and we are not going to sacrifice our long-term goals for short term gains. We are here for a reason. the bastion of Black entertainment. we won six consecutive Wednesday "Amateur Night" competitions at the world-famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. My father sat us down and said. No one had any expectations for us. But. people loved us and we were on our way to fame and fortune. independent. Most of the teenage Black girls became teenage mothers. going up on stage trying to blow a saxophone. We were nappy-headed kids from the projects and no one encouraged us to dream the big dreams. "That s their problem!" My mother would say. who can heal someone and make someone well. if you are a singer and lose your voice. they ll get someone else to replace you. sisters and I had an all-girl rhythm-and-blues band in the 1950 s and 1960 s. My sisters and I performed on that show as "The Thornton Sisters" in 1959." My parents had the wit to value education because they knew that if you are educated. We then went on to sign recording contracts with Roulette records and Atlantic Records. even though fulfillment may seem impossible. you can achieve with your efforts! Nothing is impossible! It s just the degree of difficulty!" But." My sisters and I did not look like Vanessa Williams. they ll love someone else tomorrow.was having a boy to "carry on the name. believe in your heart. my sisters and I all became well-educated. perform in rock concerts with our names in lights on the marquee." "Let your reach exceed your grasp. there was a popular talent show on television known as Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour . If you are a musician and you break your fingers. Let me tell you something. if you are an athlete and you break your knees. no one knows you. Payton.

go around to the side of the house to see it they left a window open. I was fortunate enough to become the first woman of color in the United States to be Board-certified in High Risk Obstetrics and to date. My kid sister.specializing in geriatric nursing care. As you have heard. That s why we call it "Commencement!" It will not guarantee you success. Linda. Our parents. I married my medical school sweetheart. My father would always say to us. was the United States Junior Open Chess Champion. from Boston University School of Medicine and is now a psychiatrist. jump up on the roof to see if you can get it. We all went to Monmouth College. go around to the back door and see if that is open. American universities don t hand out diplomas to people with limited potential. An Ed. Shearwood McClelland. She also has an advanced degree in Hospital Administration. at any level. re-examine and clarify your priorities and not . can rise to levels of success against all odds. Each one of us is born with the seeds of success. never give up! Because the only person that can stop you is YOU!" You are our link to a new generation. You must reassess. He graduated cum laude in Biology from Harvard University and is now entering his fourth year as a medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and aspires to be a neurosurgeon. my second oldest sister. Me. was the drummer in the band--yes. let me tell you now--members of the Class of 2003. Rita. like Monmouth and Tuskegee. I offer you a personal challenge: a challenge to do something remarkable. If that is closed. has a doubledoctorate. something more than the ordinary with your life. The diploma you will receive today is just the beginning. lieutenant colonel. my other sister. My daughter is a recent graduate of Stanford University. our environment and colleges and universities.D. Talk about Mother s Day! Because education has a "ripple effect" my children have benefited from my parents their grandparents belief in the power of education. While at Stanford. you can get there from right here! So.D. wherever you want to go in life. If that is closed. nurture and nourish each one of us until we develop into that special someone who can compete with anybody. till the soil. who is a graduate of Princeton University and is now chairman of orthopaedic surgery at Harlem Hospital in New York City. I have delivered 5489 babies. My son. She is one of only three Black female prosthodontic oral surgeons in the country and is presently on the faculty at Temple University School of Dentistry. Never underestimate the power of a small college with dedicated faculty. is now an attorney having graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law. so can you. "If the front door is closed to you (and it very well may be because you are a Black woman). who played guitar.D. So. who were written off because we were darkskinned Black women. plant the seeds. Just keep trying! Never give up. (doctorate of education) in counseling psychology and an M. anywhere. remain determined with a laser-like focus on what you want. who played keyboards. If my sisters and I. She now wants to trade in her CD for an M. before he went to college. and is now pursuing a career in medicine. If you have a goal. Dr. a dream you must be persistent. there were female drummers and she was one of the best --Linda graduated from New York University School of Dentistry and is also a retired from the United States Army as a. never. I played alto saxophone in the band. she was the musical director for Talisman. if you haven t been told this before. a popular a cappella campus group who performed at The White House and at the Olympic Games when they were held in Atlanta. Jeanette.

Not everyone is on the same wavelength as you. Again. creative new approaches and important new discoveries. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help. The fourth agreement is: Always do your best. business.. Don Miguel Ruiz put together some simple advice in his book "The Four Agreements. Somebody is going to have to come up with meaningful new ideas. I thank you! I also want to give some words of wisdom to my graduating class. medicine. . I want to remind you that the worth of any college or University is measured by the achievements and accomplishments of its graduates and by the loyalty of its alumni. my family thanks you and most of all. I want to congratulate you on your great accomplishment and offer you my best wishes. Whether you go into research. my father thanks you. Words that will stick in our memories to help us make better choices. This way even if you fail you can always say that you did your best to succeed.just be satisfied with the status quo. If people try to hurt you. law. The second agreement is: Don't take anything personally. The first agreement is: Be impeccable with your word. They obviously don't care about you. Why can t that "somebody" be you? In closing. To Tuskegee University. public service or education. We all know that learning the hard way isn't always the best way to learn. Always be truthful. it's how you say it. neither you nor society can continue to survive or prosper simply by implementing what is already known." Following this advice can spare us aches and pain on the road of life. who has so graciously bestowed this honor upon me--my mother thanks you. ignore them. The third agreement is: Don't make assumptions. It's not what you say.

we have a very powerful thing going for us: that is our youth.I hope that everyone today walks away with a little of this speech having meant something to them. school has been a lot like those pancakes. . I trust the future. and youth always believes that tomorrow will be better than today. No wars have been fought in tomorrow. you are officially a high school graduate. We have time to make mistakes and follow our dreams. As soon as you walk out of this gym. Look back. which is very exciting. No man has treacherously failed a friend in tomorrow. the day on which dreams come true. Graduation Speech I have a poem I'd like to read. on which I shall have the nerve and the will to be and to do that which was too much for me in the grim battle of today. one bite at a time. As we graduate from Tates Creek High School. beautiful day. Best of luck to everyone in the class of 2006. but they chose to remain anonymous. the waiter comes walking out with a huge plate stacked with pancakes? No matter how hungry you are. or dishonest deed done in tomorrow. I believe in tomorrow because it is unspoiled. with diploma in hand. yet written on it with grimy finger or folly or selfishness or sin. I believe in tomorrow. only now you are finally taking that last bite. I believe that I will do tomorrow what I failed to do today. Youth will attempt the impossible. We have time to find ourselves and who we really are. It seems like only yesterday I walked through the halls of Tates Creek as a freshman and already four years have passed. I believe in tomorrow. did you live the last four years to their fullest? Did you take risks and make mistakes? Did you learn anything? I'm happy to say that Tates Creek High School has taught me quite a bit about myself and about life. just looking at these pancakes puts you in the mind-set that there is no possible way you are ever going to finish them. Never underestimate the value of time. scale the mountain that is supposed to be inaccessible. Well. Youth is always glorious because it trusts the future. I'd like to give the author credit. on which the impossible things will yet be done. and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I believe in it because it has not yet come. and dare the thing that age will fear. I have. Graduation Speech Have you ever noticed that when you go to a restaurant and order pancakes. and be then what I have not yet been. nor has anyone. And I am young. No lie has been told. But. Tomorrow is one clean. you start eating.

. To keep all your old friends is like keeping all your old clothes -. What s next is up to us. can talk with your friend right then. Remember as you eat those pancakes. you ended up getting a busy signal. As we graduate and say farewell to our generation as Tomahawks. remember Shakespeare's quote . We have grown up in a world of computers." We tend to hold on to our old clothes for comfort and security. the class of 2006. thanks to call waiting. what we are leaving behind we won't realize until we are gone. Once this was accomplished you had to turn the dial. it s what you make it. This is a new millennium and a new start. at dawn of peace that follows strife." As you look out at the clear night sky during the years to come. And when you finally got the number dialed. one bite at a time." Thirteen years of education has passed and it's time for the class of 2006 to accept the change and say farewell to those who have impacted our lives -. educators and community. "People's lives change. but at the same time need new clothes to compensate for your growth. We are the generation and the class that will bring our world farther. space discoveries. Thank you for giving us the ability to accept such a great change. We will forever be grateful. Remember the memories. have been through many changes and have learned many new things. we still have even farther to go.. let us go. think about what was and what became. the Class of 2006. Well. Just think back to when you were in first grade and wanted to call a friend on the phone. friends. imagine what the phones will be like when this year s first-graders are graduating. . cloning and other technological advances.We.to our parents. that life is not what you want it to be. The world we are about to enter may be different for all of us. Accept the change. and remember your friends. If phones have come this far since we were in first grade. bless the years and happy times when you meant a lot to each other. the graduating class of 2006. but try not to have the guilts if new people mean more to you now.the sun is rising. Internet. At dawn of love. At dawn of all we long for so -. Think about our world at Douthitt High School. at dawn of life.pretty soon your closet is so jammed and everything is so crushed you can't find anything to wear. Help these old friends when they need you. . Our time as the graduating class of 2006 will always be lingering through the halls of MPHS. Thank you for giving us the confidence to move on. but at the same time we will all be experiencing the beginning of life. It's so hard to say goodbye . hit speed dial and. To my friends. Today we say farewell to a tremendous era of our lives.There are "as many farewells as be stars in heaven. Our world is rapidly changing and even though we have come a long way. Well. times have changed a lot since we were in first grade. you finally just finished that plate of pancakes and now you get a new plate. which took forever. . Now all you have to do is take out your cell phone. thank you. First you had to go in search of a phone and the phone number.

They have given us so much there is no way to . on this day. We would also like to recognize the three secretaries Gale Chew. Lord Tennyson. It was a long difficult quest to get to where we are. Good luck to all of you and I will miss you all. which caused us to get way behind in our work. and Faye Gemkow. And through it all we accomplished something we thought we never could do. we must remember our own past. found our motivations with the help of our parents and our beloved teachers. Some of us will continue working a full-time job or seek a higher education. especially Ms. value. we have much more to look forward to. don't be afraid. We would like to thank all of the teachers. But now we have finally completed what we set out to do. We have completed the first step for opportunities into the real world. has worked beside us and has helped us make this day possible. Consequently. We struggled because of distractions. or just being lazy. We the Class of 2006. Debbie Lindahl. the last four years: Graduation Speech Today marks the end of your childhood. My class would also like to thank all the parents that have made us who we are. and let us blossom into our own person. most of us would not care about school and just have fun. graduation is the bittersweet moment where the forces of past and future are simultaneously acting on us. Thus. it is a momentous occasion where we believe we are about to start anew. and in particular. For instance. the past is not dead. However. I feel that in order to appreciate commencement fully. " [we] are a part of all that [we] have met. So. Alfred. similar to other turning points in our lives." That is why graduation. Yates. Show the world the dedication and intelligence you possess inside. possesses two halves. suggests that our past experiences will be with us forever as he states. The choice is yours and I hope every single one of you will achieve your future goals. And I guarantee you will be on top. as our Senior Class adviser. would like to thank all of those who have helped us overcome one of the obstacles in our path. We stayed away from our distractions. while tomorrow we begin our journey into the real world. and all other staff that have made an impact on our lives and have put us on the path to our hopes and dreams for the near future. but the "arch" of experience beckons us to remember. Now. Some of us will volunteer our services to the greatest military in the world to protect our freedom. We are looking forward.Commencement is a critical juncture in our lives. when tomorrow comes. and learn from our past experiences. Gooles and Mr. which accentuate each other. lack of motivation. yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world. Faye.

Well. but for some reason there is a part of you and me that doesn't want to let go. such a happy human race ." Graduation is also time to look at what the future has in store for each of us. dances. And to make an end is to make a beginning. but we must not dwell on them. I will remember... We're extremely jubilant because we're finally moving on. we see ourselves on a country road. And maybe you're having some regrets too. but I'm awfully excited.the moment we've all been waiting for. pep assemblies. As our lives ventured on down the winding path. at least the ones from our sophomore and junior years. families and friends.repay them. then high school would have been that much better. As we all go our separate ways . teachers..Graduation Speech Parents. It's almost unbearable. Life is an adventure. As we look back on our past experiences we will often have these thoughts. It is a very serious time. We've had some great times at M-P. "So why would you care. but let's not let them be the best times of our lives. to get out of this place. Graduation marks the end of a path but as it ends a new path begins. From the lyrics of Dave Mathews. and our lives have just begun. We must learn from our mistakes and apply what we've learned. It hurts to think of all these memories and then realize this time period in our lives is coming to an end. As each new path ends a new one begins. but we can't help ourselves from reminiscing about the good times with our friends and thinking about how much we'll miss everything we had at M-P now that it's gone. welcome and thank you for joining us tonight at the Shelton High School graduation ceremony for the Class of 2006! Graduation is a time to look fondly upon memories which have been made over the past three years. we met new friends and new life experiences along the way. Perhaps you could have tried a little harder or been a little friendlier." Every landmark in our lives will end but there is always a beginning to an end. But for now we would just like to send our gratitude to them for all their help and inspiration that they have given to us throughout our lives. Events which become very vivid in my mind are football and basketball games. it's finally here . We started elementary school and we constantly gained new knowledge to help us progress in our journey. Will you be successful? Will you be unsuccessful? This success I am speaking of has nothing to do with monetary gains but is measured . The end is where we start from. a time to take a look at what path our lives are going to take once the caps and gowns are taken off and we are thrust into a world which is not so well known to most of us. There are an infinite amount of opportunities in life. We started out by walking on a winding path as we entered the destination of kindergarten. As the path widens. you and me and all our friends. I don't know about you. "What we call the beginning is often the end. Eliot once wrote. As we continued along in our journey we entered a paved pat. and especially time spent with a group of friends just doing whatever. I am sure all of us have our own memories which we hold close to our hearts and make us grin when we think of them..

you're my model of excellence. Please grasp it firmly and head down a path leading to eternal success. thank you for everything and congratulations. independent or full of bitterness. Christian and non-Christian. Mom. teachers and friends. faithfulness. set goals. I'm the fruit of your hands. "Only you can determine who you are. and then submit to my spiritual head the way you do. He said. A woman's joy doesn't come from being strong. You are my hero! As I observe the world. I've determined the only kind of women who can survive is one like you. My hope for my future is to grow to have your diligence. I'm the fruit of your hands. so don't look to me for help. Figure out ways to achieve these goals and fulfill your dreams. I would like to read (Proverbs 31:10-31) as a tribute to you and grandma. My prayer is to love the way you love. To the graduating class of the year nineteen hundred and ninety-seven. which I repeat is measured by your happiness. It comes from her dependence on Jesus Christ. the greatest grandma ever! whose love gave you the ability to love me . If you do not like the path your life has taken thus far. Tonight is the beginning of the rest of our lives. Parents. You are the most Christ-like woman I've ever seen. blaze your own trail if need be. re-route yourself. My greatest desire is to have a marriage like yours and to carry myself like you do." Mom. thank you for helping us to come this far. graduates. Graduation Speech My Dad told me recently that the best thing I could do for my school upon graduation is to be able to share who I am. All of us appreciate the love and support immensely. good and bad.solely by happiness. wisdom and love. if it does not make you happy. Are you truly happy? Will you be five or ten years down the road? Begin planning for your future tonight.

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