Thank you Dr. Varner. President, trustees, faculty, graduates, friends and family. Aloha to you all.
When I arrived in Honolulu, it was my first time away from home. I was nineteen. It was scary. And it was a foreign country and value-system I had to adjust to.
I hated it at first and now, it breaks my heart to leave. I am still away from home. But I am not nineteen anymore, or scared. Three experiences erased my initial doubts.
My integration was eased by Hawaii's multi-cultural feature. I met many people who were, or had been, in the same position I was in. I learned how to pair up with those people to ban anxiety and self-doubt. HPU students have this special mixed background that makes them incredibly exciting and supportive.
I also learned that one could do anything when facing up fear. Gold needs to be beaten up for its purity to be revealed...well the same goes with ourselves. My teachers taught me to survive criticism and use it to my advantage. After I overcame my strongest fears, I realized I was a survivor. And I felt I had something more that no one could take away from me.
Another thing that helped me grow was to get involved body and soul into everything I did. When we do our best we cannot regret failing. I competed for the National Student Advertising Competition. We did our best. We did not win but I don't regret a single thing. That work represented me at that stage of life. I know what I lacked to do better. Now I know what to focus on.
As a student of HPU who is now graduating, I would like to ask this question: can anybody offer me a job? I am just kidding.
I would like to end this speech by acknowledging everybody's hard work. Being here tonight means we are all successful in reaching our academic goals, regardless of our GPA.
Mahalo for you attention. Have a great evening.