Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Did you watch the “Graduate Together: High School Class of 2020 Commencement” broadcast?

If you didn’t, you missed some inspiring moments. If you did, I hope you received some messages of hope and empowerment – I know I did!

Some of those messages are worth repeating because their relevance extends beyond the targeted audience of 2020 high school graduates to each of us.

LeBron James, philanthropist and NBA great, challenged students to recommit themselves to their communities, saying “building your community changes the world.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world would look like if we worked together to rebuild our communities for the common good?

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate and Pakistani activist, declared that “The class of 2020 won’t be defined by what we lost to this virus but by how we responded to it.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world will look like when we emerge on the other side of this pandemic?

President Barack Obama offered three pieces of advice: Don’t be afraid. Do what you think is right. Build a community. He encouraged students to “… be alive to one another’s struggles. Stand up for one another’s rights. Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us — sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed — and set the world on a different path.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world would look like if we were alive to each other’s struggle, if we stood up for the rights of others, if we left behind divisive ways?

What are you willing to do to set the world on a different path?

As we move forward, into the future, we all have the power to effect positive change. Each one of us can make a difference. Together we can change the world!

Posted in Associate Blog, News


  1. Colette,
    I sure did watch the very special SPECIAL.
    The students took something so down-trodden and came up with a production no movie production could ever replicate. It was also a pleasure and a treat to see and hear former President Obama Thanks Colette
    Maureen Flanagan, OP

  2. Thank you, Colette. I did not look at that broadcast. Thanks for sharing pieces of it that really do help the graduates and us to look ahead with hope if we drop “old ways”!

  3. Good job Colette of capturing some very good thoughts from the Broadcast.
    NOW – – -what will WE do ?? !!


  4. Excellent reminders, Colette! Thanks for sharing your reflection!

    Peace and Blessings,
    Pat, OP

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