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Becoming The Commencement Speaker

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxI1DRBUH9Y[/embed]  

I first decided to audition to become the commencement speaker at my college graduation last year. I was taking a public speaking course with an amazing professor; John Lombardi. He was often impressed and pleased with my work and how well I spoke that he asked for my help. He recruited me on this mission, to help coach a young woman named Desi. Her overall goal was to become the commencement speaker of her graduation for the class of 2013. I helped her along with himself and another member of the school. We changed her volume, her poise and her confidence. From this experience I too gained confidence. I finally had seen great goals that I too wanted to reach. So I started early in January of this year, planning and starting my speech. It took me an entire sheet of drawing pad paper and a few hours but my speech was finished. My first draft was all over the place, but had brilliant ideas and a meaningful message. After some revision and a few auditions(which I cried at both of them) I was all set and ready for the final decision.

THE EMAIL THAT MADE MY LIFE

I was sitting on the couch, I had been waiting for a phone call all morning. I decided to check my email just in case my professor/mentor had heard anything first... and there it was! I had an email from one of the members on the board;

Dear Elizabeth:

On behalf of the QVCC 2014 Graduation Speaker Committee, I want to extend our sincere thanks to you for taking the time to audition for Graduation Speaker.

We commend you on the excellent job you did in writing and delivering an exceptional speech. Our task was a difficult one because we had more than one outstanding candidate. After much deliberation, we ranked our candidates, and you have been chosen as the 2014 Commencement Speaker!

 

Congratulations on a job well-done! The committee was very impressed by your hard work and perseverance to make your speech the best it could be.

I sat there on the couch as my heart stopped beating and then started pounding again. I was sobbing covering my mouth now open from surprise. I couldn't believe that they had chosen me to become their speaker for the 2014 graduation.

The night of my graduation I was nervous. As I practiced and waited for my moment to come, I prayed for strength and steady legs.

I stepped on stage, positioned the mic perfectly and delivered a "memorable speech". I poured my heart and soul into the delivery of my speech, hoping to touch at least one person with my words. As I shuffled my papers I felt relief and accomplishment. As I looked up into the crowd I couldn't believe the reaction that I was receiving. One student stood up, then another and soon after everyone in the audience was at their feet. I simply said "Awwww" as I tried and failed at fighting back my tears. I had no words, no thoughts, just appreciation and the feeling of love. That night I was truly inspired by my classmates. I had finally had the kind of support that I always wanted, but never thought it would come from people I barely knew.

As I look back on that day of May 29th 2014 I see how much I have achieved. I feel that I really can do anything that I put my mind to, no matter how difficult. Because of them and my mentor I feel more empowered to reach for my dreams and to transfer to University. Thank you to all who have truly supported me and loved me you are my inspiration and the reason I keep pushing forward. XOXO Your 2014 Commencement Speaker