2 min read
Posted on 05.25.16
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 05.25.16
  • Filed under
  • GSA
  • Gateway
  • Lindenwood
  • college

I am pleased to be with you tonight to celebrate this milestone in your lives. I strongly suspect this will be the first of many celebrations for you.

I am especially happy to be here to honor and celebrate the first graduating high school class from Gateway Science Academy.You should be very proud.I am.

A commencement speech is an opportunity for someone my age to pass along some advice to someone your age. Your job is to listen. My job is to stop talking before your job becomes too hard.

You are smart.You know how to work hard.You have people who love you and care about you. And you think science is worth doing.

Build on that.

Use your brain as often as possible. Knowledge is cool. Knowledge means autonomy, the opportunity to have choices and be able to make them.

Problem-solving. Reasoning. Curiosity. Coding. These are the super-powers of the 21st Century. And you have them.

You are high-achieving. You have completed the curriculum of one of the city’s top schools.

Build on that.

Go to college or tech school, and keep learning. Take the discipline you learned here and use it to excel at the next level. These past four years and the next four are the foundation on which your life and career will be built. Demand the most from your next school, your next teachers. Demand the most from yourself.

You did not get here alone. Adults, caregivers, friends, teachers, kind strangers, and that person you hated who made you try harder helped you get here.

Build on that.

You know how to depend on people. Go forward now and become dependable yourself. Get involved.Take a leadership role where you go next -- whether that's staying in St. Louis or moving away for college for a while.The opportunities are many.Volunteer to help other people. Make your neighborhood better.Set a good example for others your age and for those who look up to you.Make every moment count. Pay back and pay forward.

That’s my brief advice to you.

I need a minute more to thank some people.

This celebration would not be possible without the incredible dedication of the GSA founders and staff. It would not be possible without the sponsorship of Lindenwood University.

To the staff: tonight’s promotion of these fine young men and women happened because of your constant care, dedication and instruction.You have formed young minds and spirits, and to you, we are eternally grateful.

Congratulations to you all.

And, enjoy your summer.