May 18, 2011
Every now and then, life hands you a gift. For me, that gift was when NCK Technical College
asked me to give their 2011 Commencement speech.
9:03 pm cdt
At Saturday’s graduation
ceremonies, I arrived with the ten-minute-or-so speech in hand I’ve been mentally writing and re-writing for weeks.
As the first stands of Pomp and Circumstance began, I joined the processional toward the stage. I stood while approximately
80 students took their seat to participate in the ceremonies. Despite the bright spot lights, I could tell Beach Schmidt Auditorium
was filled to capacity with graduates, families and well-wishers.
time came for me to deliver my speech – and it went by in a blur. However, once the students started crossing the stage
for their diploma, time slowed down. One of the first students to walk across fiercely hugged Don Benjamin as he handed her
a diploma. I could tell she was losing her battle to hold back tears. Her face reflected an onslaught of emotions gripping
her right at that moment: pride, satisfaction, excitement, relief, determination, and accomplishment. It hit me at that moment
that I was part of something bigger, something more special than anything I’ve ever been a part of before.
While I can’t take any credit for these students’ accomplishments, I’m so
honored that I got to take part in their celebration. Thanks, NCKTC – I will forever treasure this gift!