With the school year finally coming to an end, we wanted to share an inspiring speech to graduating seniors from college student Haylie Bernacki. Her advice to students: your involvement with Project UNIFY and SO College has prepared you for a bright and impactful future.
As classes end and summer begins, we all dream about our summer plans; not a care in the world…but not this summer. Not this year. This year we leave behind four years of our life, looking towards the future to start anew.
You may ask us if we are scared, anxious, or even intimated by what lies ahead. But I can tell you with confidence, assurance, and pride that we have the tools it takes to make our way in this world. We have been given the opportunity to see ourselves in a new light, the opportunity to build lasting relationships, the opportunity to say we were a part of something greater.
As we look back on our four years, we have learned to look at people for their abilities, that we are more similar than different; we have learned the power of a smile. There will be times in our life when the road seems unclear, but that will not faze us. How could it? We have had the best teachers in the world.
- Our teachers see an obstacle and do not back down; they face it with determination and will.
- Our teachers come with joy in their hearts and a smile on their face.
- Our teachers have taught us to see life as a gift.
- Our teachers show us that teamwork can make all the difference.
- Our teachers accept everyone, love everyone, and encourage everyone to do their own individual best.
- Our teachers prove that it is not important who wins, but the bravery in the attempt is what counts.
Our teachers are Special Olympics Athletes.
Without Special Olympics College in our lives, we would have not been able to learn from the best. We would have not been able to gain the wisdom the athletes had to offer. I can say with confidence that without Special Olympics College, we would not be the people we are today.
Today we can enter the world with the ability to see the goodness in life. We can enter the work force and see our co-workers for their abilities and the strengths they provide. We can enter graduate school with a better understanding of how we can make a difference.
We graduate today with a better understanding of life, what truly matters, and where we are headed.