As requested I am posting the commencement address I gave on
August 21, 2010. I was so proud to serve as Business Motivational Speaker and inspirational speaker for ACRT graduation. I love being a University Guest Speaker and Motivational Speaker because commencement marks the beginning of a new journey!
Class of 2010 you have worked hard to get to this day. Your class is talented, hardworking and everyone at ACRT is excited for your future.
As a class I would like you to remember your first day at ACRT. Remember how you were nervous and it seemed that graduation day would never come. You made it and you are about to begin a new journey, to enter a job market and business environment that offers challenges and competition. As ACRT students, you are taught to learn from difficult situations and rise up to create solutions. Your course work, your instructors and your experiences have taught you to look at new ways to overcome problems and form alliances while working as a team to achieve success.
Your graduating class is made up of working people, military personnel, non-traditional students and people who never thought an education was in their reach. ACRT helped you by making our education affordable, flexible and designed for your learning needs. As ACRT students, you have many people who help you and inspire you. It may be an instructor who has become the voice in your head as you make decisions, it may be a staff member who took the time to help you enroll at ACRT or it maybe a family member who believed in you and encouraged you to keep going.
As you look at your classmates you can see that they also taught you the most important lesson, which is that a successful team is like an excellent family; you support each other, lift each other up and work through your problems as a family.
As you graduate, you will use your education to help others and achieve your dreams. You will use your past, including the tough times and combine it with your passion to create your future. As graduates, you have been given the tools and inspiration to pursue your dreams. Your talent, dedication and hard work have led you to this day and you have grown stronger. You are an inspiration to those who only wish for what you have accomplished. You had to risk to get to this day and we learn from great people who have risked more than others think is safe. Harriett Tubman went back not once but 19 times to save more people. To get complete your education you invested in yourself and you cared more than some people thought was wise. Mother Theresa cared more than others thought was wise and she helped millions of people and inspired even more people then she ever imagined. As students you had a dream and today you celebrate that your dream came true. Martin Luther King had a dream that would change our world and we have to remember that we must continue to have dreams and goals for our future. Your family and friends are here today to celebrate and show their love and support. They are proud that you expected more from yourself and you set a goal and achieved it. Abraham Lincoln expected more than others thought was possible and we must continue to expect more from ourselves than even we think is possible.
As instructors, we share the reality of our coursework and how to apply what you learn in the real world. As a business owner, Business Motivational Speaker and instructor I meet people everyday who work hard but cannot unlock their potential. ACRT has given you the tools, resources and training but today begins your journey to unlock your potential and ensure your success. Everyone wants happiness and success but few people achieve both. The secret to unlocking your potential lies in learning from your past, forgiving yourself and others, learning to love yourself which is the foundation of building the confidence you will need for your career and your personal life. Life will present trails and you will overcome obstacles if you ask for help, achieve balance and strive for self respect. In the workplace you will be challenged and you will have to respond not react. If you strive to be that one person that your company cannot live without, your value will guide you to promotion and leadership. In your personal life if you strive to be the one person that your family cannot live without, you will be a foundation for love and happiness. Being the one, does not mean being perfect or being a pushover, it means being the one person that people can count on to help them grow and unlock their potential. Over the years I found that people said, call Katherine she’s the one you need or call Miracle Resources they are the ones that can help. Being the one in business means you are a resource, an expert, you are dependable. In your personal life it means you are the one who can provide, support, love and direction.
If you truly want to be the “one” you have to commit today to taking the oxygen before you help others. When you fly the flight attendant shows you putting on the oxygen mask then helping the person next to you. Too many leaders give to others then burnout, promise me you will not be the person in your company or family who gives so much then burns out before you can achieve success and happiness. To be the one, means you are expectional and you are a leader. You will only achieve this by forgiving yourself, learning to love yourself, giving of yourself and committing to your continued education and personal growth. When tough times come please remember this quote that I wrote when I suffered a personal tragedy.
“Whatever you are going through use it, if you lose love learn to love yourself, if you are hurt help another, if you lose faith search to find it and always, always fight for your happiness.”
As a class, you represent hope, wisdom and you are a light that others will look to for inspiration. Class of 2010 this is your time to shine and no matter what darkness you face you will take what you learned and seize every moment and make the most of every opportunity.
You are the miracle of resilience and you have overcome obstacles and you are now a member of a unique and talented group of people. Remember it is better to be an academy graduate than compete with one! So be the one, The one that your company and family cannot live without but most importantly be the one that you have always dreamed you would be! You are stronger, wiser and more resilient than the challenges you face. Congratulations class of 2010!