For all of those graduating this year: CONGRATS!
No matter if it’s High School, College, Universities you all made it. Now, the level of responsibility has to be taken a new level. A new level in which many of you are prepared to beckon. A new level, indeed.
Many of you will graduate from your colleges, high schools, or universities for the first time. A first time for your families because there might be someone from your family who didn’t finish to help to raise your kids or you in general. Or to get a job. Or if they enlisted in the military for a long time and served. Or they haven’t finished early but thinking and wishing that they want to go back. I have message for those who wished, or thought about going back: It’s not too late! If you are sitting in the seats watching your son, daughter, nephew, niece, granddaughter/grandson, foster child, GodFather, Godmother, Godsister, Godbrother, neighbor, co-worker, or any other person you know well, should that motivate you to go back?
Long time ago, a member of my family once said that 31 years old was too old to got back to college. This was in the 60’s during the Vietnam War. However overtime, that age thing of 31 in all means nothing. I’ve seen 60 year olds, 70 year olds, and 80 year olds go back. And even almost 90 year olds who are still living, went back and got their degrees. It’s NOT TOO LATE! Aaliyah once said that age ain’t nothing but a number. She also said that you can accomplish anything regardless of your age. Which is now a new staple.
Now there is a question I want to ask: which of you 2014 folks are ready to be the new players to get this ball rolling? Which of you class of 2014 members are ready to pull in the grind, and the heart and the dedication to this life long work of building things anew? Who from your class of 2014 is going to rise up and accept the jobs of new radicals, revolutionaries, and many other uses of new effective leadership that this world or your community is thirsty to have? Are you that radical? Are you that next revolutionary person in the making that I want to read about? What about those that can’t wait? It’s not something to answer right away. It takes time and you have plenty of it!
I don’t know who is going to speak at your Commencements. I’m not calling it a “graduation” as of yet until you get that piece of paper in the mail after your grades have been checked. Now there was this “concern” about Howard University and Diddy speaking. This has been a big debate in which by now, he already got his Doctorates of Humanities Honorary Degree. And yes there was time he was at Howard University and dropped out after two years. Uh-Oh! Really Howard?!!
Ok, there is nothing I can do about the protests. But it seems that Howard U has made it’s decision in him speaking. And he did address the Howard Class of 2014 of his struggles, successes and also determination. He also addressed infamous rap lines from “It was all a dream” to “Can’t stop won’t stop.” And even to address the question, “Do you know how powerful you are?” Well, I looked at the speech of the commencement, and yes he killed. And I will say this also: I’m more of an old school guy. Which means that I want to see those who have made it out with a degree, risen up from the bootstraps, worked hard, made a killing of money, and still gives back to their former schools, families, friends and acquaintances. That’s just me. Many now in this era, probably don’t matter, but I’m just saying. I want those of us or any of us who have been there with the mentality, and able to give back and talk to the current students now and beyond.
For you Howard Bison folks of this year’s class, hey congrats. It seems that “The Yard” along with the hardwork and dedication has taught you well during your 4+ years. But after all of that, and your Commencement Walk, and your name being called out, and celebrating with your families and friends, here is my question that I will say to those also who are graduating this year: What’s next?
What’s next C/O 2014? Many of you will probably are going to Grad School, the Military, Work, or many other prospects. But no matter what you do, make the best effort as possible. Yes, it’s hard out here, but there are improvements. However, in regarding that, here is another challenge many of you need to know. If it hasn’t been addressed by your schools ceremony of commencement, join your Alumni Chapters. Or as I like to call them, the Alumni Association. GIVE BACK! If your High School, College or University has given you love for those 4 years or more, as an new member of the Alumni, it’s time to give back. Donate to your alumni group by donating your cash to help those with supplies, construction, computers, Ipads, band equipment, scholarships and even Alumni Memberships. Even go to your Alumni Networking Events at a Baseball Game or a bar (yes I said a bar) if owned by one of your folks who went to the same school as you did. Even for those who didn’t attend the campus full time, and had to take courses in your hometown, and had to make it to your commencement for the first time, for you distance education folks, don’t let that stop you for going to Alumni Events. Share your Online Class Experiences of Distance Education! Even though, the other alumni members aren’t so “peachy keen” about Online Classes or the thought of not being on campus like the traditional folks, you have a school story to share with your Alumni. Even find those in the Alumni who knows your pain or understanding of doing the Distance Learning thing, and make a networking thing with that to get that started. Or check this, START an Alumni group, chapter or division and get your networking on that way. Here’s a thought, many of you are getting that graduation cash from family and friends. Use part of that to donate to your Alumni groups. I’m just saying. Save it up along with your job, and donate the funding within a year. In regarding your Alumni again: Class reunions! I was told about 19 years ago out of high school this message, “Go to your reunions.” Class of 2014, go to your class reunions. Rekindle those connections and give back. I’ve gone to my class reunions, gatherings, and also I serve on my Alumni Board for my old high school. And I have gone to College and University Alumni networking events also. Go to them. Know what is going on from your former schools. And if you need work per say, to change careers, in addition to with your other networking folks like family, church and others, don’t forget your alumni folks! Who knows, the same guy you try to get a job with, could be an alum of your old school. Use social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Phone Numbers, emails; hey you know what time it is.
Just a nod of respect to my University Alma Mater: “When in doubt, come to Stout!” – Shout out to my UW-Stout Family.
So Class of 2014: You have made your mark, and you have made your move for your spotlight to shine on you. Now take your spotlight and feed it to those that are needy and wanting to have your communities and you personally a good difference in life.
“MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!”