Inside USD

Graduation Ceremony Inspires HS Student

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Being at the University of San Diego as a high school student and intern when the college students are graduating, particularly those in the May 25 Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony, is amazing.

It’s an experience I’ll never forget. It pushes me to want to become more involved and to do my best to be successful, just as the graduates. Seeing everyone with a smile on their face gave the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre such a positive energy, knowing they worked hard to get where they are now. A new chapter of their life opened on this day and I was glad I got to see it as the graduates, one by one, passed the stage.

The speakers at the ceremony were truly inspirational. One, in particular, caught my attention. Dr. Nailah Thompson (pictured below, center), a 1999 USD alumna and a former Torero basketball player, is a physician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. What was so intriguing about her speech was that she talked about difficult obstacles she had and how she overcame them. At the end she presented some life lessons, specifically for the graduates, but her words touched me, too.

The best advice she gave was to enjoy what you are doing right now in the present. Sometimes you focus on the past or you worry too much about the future that you don’t enjoy what life gives you at that moment. Doing what you love and are passionate about right now will set your future and that’s what is going to make you happy and successful.

Helping out in USD’s Office of Public Affairs allowed me to see how much work they put into organizing the commencement ceremonies but at the end, all the hard work pays off through all of the wonderful energy around the campus. I’m really glad I got to be part of this process and see it all come together.

— Written by Alexandra Hernandez-Bandala, a San Diego High Tech High School student, who is doing an internship through the University of San Diego’s Office of Public Affairs.

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