I See

20 Jul 2010 by Fausto Sicha, No Comments »

By: Fausto Sicha

Speech delivered at Rockland Community College

Oct. 2007

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                Tonight, right before entering this building, I closed my eyes in an attempt to bring back all the wonderful memories that I have of this place: this school that gave me the opportunity to grow, this school where professors and classmates became my close friends, this school that opened so many doors for me, this school that gave me the security and confidence to go on, to try something new, and to challenge myself once again.

               I closed my eyes tonight, and in the darkness of that moment I felt secure once again. I felt ready for new challenges. And I felt surrounded by a very special group of people.

               Now that I opened my eyes; I see some of you getting your degrees in a few months, the fruit of your sacrifice, the result of your determination, and the realization of your dream.

               I see tonight parents being proud of their sons and daughters: your children have followed your example, your advice, and your determination. They are walking in the right direction, and despite all challenges, they are confident that the future belongs to them. The recognition that they receive tonight is just one way to say thank you mom, thank you dad, yes, yes I can.

               I see tonight some of you going to graduate school, becoming professionals, and working for this country that we all love, for this country that gives us freedom, and for this country that gives us so many opportunities.

               I see that for some of you school will end in a few months. I see some of you starting your own families. I see tonight that one day, your children and my children will look into our eyes and say, dad, mom, you showed me the way, you inspired me to go on, and you are the example that I need. I see that one day our children will walk over the road that we are unable to walk today. I see that one day inspired by our examples our children will come to school, and they will learn what is right and what is wrong. They will learn to defend their country when they need to. They will learn to become leaders and willingly take the leadership that is required to live in peace, the leadership that their country needs, and the leadership that their society demands.

               I see tonight people whose obligations forced them to leave school. But I also see tonight that this is the right time for you to come back to school. I see that your desire to earn a college degree never vanished from your memory. I see that you are better prepared for college now. I see you trying once again. I see you winning this time. I see that postponing school is no longer an option for you: not when there is determination, not when you believe in yourself, and not when deep inside your heart you know that this is something that you have always wanted.

               My friends, tonight I also see a man for whom school was not an options, but he made it an option. I see a man who believed in himself when no one else did. I see a man who never knocked on a door looking for better opportunities, simply because this door never existed for him. I see a man whose determination helped him to overcome the barrier of learning the English language, the barrier of his economic status, and the barrier of living in an environment different from the one that he was used to.

               My friends that man is me, I came to school not because it was easy, but because I was determined to overcome these challenges. I came to school not thinking about myself, but thinking about the things that I can do for others. I came to school not because I had money to pay for my tuition, but because I am aware that my country, the country that I left behind needs a new direction, needs leadership, and needs people who are willing to stop thinking about themselves and to put their country first.

               My friends, I see tonight that you will go on, that education is taking you in the right direction, and that one day, you will win.

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