Dean of CPS Ali Eskandarian, guest speakers and student speakers all inspired the graduates to have courage in the new phases of their lives that begin after graduation.
Here are some of the most inspiring moments from the evening:
1. The courage to move on
Marybeth Davies, a manager of the paralegal program at Dupont Paralegals, delivered an address to the graduates and admitted she was hesitant to even accept the offer to give a speech. But because she found the most success after facing her fears, she challenged graduates to face their fears.
She congratulated graduates on their courage to go back to school and reach the next level of their educations, which will allow them to aspire to greater goals in their careers.
“Courage is not just limited to heroism or commencement speeches, it means to do something or take on a task that was difficult. You displayed a type of courage to sacrifice your personal freedom, your time, your money to educate yourself and to never stop believing in yourself,” Davies said.
Davies told graduates to have courage to use their training to continue working hard, even after setbacks and challenges.
“Sometimes you will hit a brick wall. Your training and education will help you decide whether to knock it down, go around it or go under it,” Davies said.
2. Fear: An inspiring acronym
Erika Negrin, a graduate of the law firm management program, said her decision to return to school was the scariest decision she has ever faced.
“I was terrified, but what was even worse was I was comfortable,” Negrin said. “I knew I had more inside me.”
Negrin said she overcame her doubts by thinking of “fear” as an acronym, and told her fellow graduates to use fear as a motivator.
“Fear could stand for forget everything and run, or it can mean face everything and rise,” Negrin said.
3. Use knowledge to take risks
Eskandarian closed the program by charging the graduates with one final piece of advise: Take risks.
“Use the skills and knowledge you have learned from us to explore and learn all you can from uncertainty and risk. Shed your fear so you can utilize that uncertainty and risk,” Eskandarian said.
He reminded them to see failure as opportunities to learn and grow, because resiliency can allow them to achieve their “elusive dreams.”
“When we let the fear of failure dictate our decisions, we deprive ourselves of taking educated risks,” Eskandarian said.
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