Read full transcript of Obama's high school graduation speech

Read full transcript of Obama's high school graduation speech
Read full transcript of Obama's high school graduation speech

Former President Barack Obama on Saturday organized a group of experts working with schools in the "Graduate Together: High School Class of 2020 Commission" in collaboration with the LeBron James Foundation and the entertainment industry. Foundation.

Here are Mr. Obama's full comments:

Hello to everyone. Aniyah, thanks for that beautiful presentation. I cannot be conscious of what you have done in your time with the Obama Foundation.

And yes, I may not be able to guide all of you, as well as teachers, instructors, and above all, your parents and family in the 2020 graduation.

Now graduating under any circumstances is a great achievement. Some of you have had to overcome serious obstacles along the way, either due to an illness, or from parents who have lost jobs, or who live in neighborhoods where people often drive them out. . Huh. With the usual challenges of growing up, all of you have to deal with the added pressure of social media, reports of school shootings and the specter of climate change. And then, the way you're about to celebrate, like you were expecting prom and prom nights, graduation ceremonies and, let's face it, a bunch of parties, the world is reversed by a global epidemic. And while I'm sure you love your parents, I'm sure that staying home with them and playing board games or watching Tiger King on TV is not at all like you imagined the last months of your senior year. Had. Should be

Now I will be honest with you, the disappointment of missing a living graduate will pass very quickly. I do not remember my high school graduation. I know that it is not so bad to sit there and listen to the graduation speaker: I have a very long trend. Also, many people don't look great in those hats, especially if you have big ears like mine. And you will have plenty of time to catch up with your friends when the immediate public health crisis ends.

But it is true that his graduation marks his way into adulthood, the moment when he handles his life. This is when you can decide what is important to you: what kind of career you want to make. With whom do you want to have a family? The values ​​you want to live. And given the current state of the world, it can be a bit scary.

If you have planned to go to college and are leaving it on campus in the fall, this is no longer a fact. If you planned to work your way to school, it was found that the first job would be more difficult. Even families that are relatively wealthy face massive uncertainty. Those who were fighting earlier are tied in a sutra.

All of which means that it will grow faster than a few generations. The epidemic has shaken the status quo and exposed many of our country's deepest problems, ranging from large-scale economic inequality to ongoing racial inequalities and a lack of basic medical care for the people. It has awakened many young people to the fact that old ways of working simply do not work; It does not matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; And that our society and democracy work only when we think not only of ourselves but of others.

Another hard truth also revolves, something that we all have to accept once our childhood is over. Did you think of all the adults who were in charge and knew what they were doing? It turns out that they do not have all the answers. Many of them do not even ask the right questions. So if the world is going to get better, it will be up to you.

That perception can be a bit intimidating. But I hope it is also inspiring. With all the challenges facing this country right now, no one can say "no, you're too young to understand" or "it's always done this way." Because with so much uncertainty, suddenly everything is at stake, this is the world of your generation.

Since I am one of the old, I will not tell you what to do with this power which is in your hands. But I will leave you with three quick tips.

First, don't be afraid. The United States has been going through a difficult time before: slavery, civil war, famine, disease, the Great Depression and 11 September. And we get stronger every time, usually because a new generation, young people like you, learned from the mistakes of the past and found a way to improve things.

Second, do what you feel is right. Do what feels good, what is convenient, what is easy, that is what young children think. Unfortunately, many so-called adults, some with fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way, which is why things are so bad.

I hope that instead, you decide to build lasting values ​​like honesty, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity and respect for others. It will not be right every time, it will make mistakes like we all do. But if you listen to the truth inside you, when it is difficult, even when it is inconvenient, people will notice it. They will be leaning towards you. And you will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

And finally, build a community. Nobody does great work for themselves. Right now, when people are scared, it's easy to be cynical and say let me take care of myself, my family, or people like me, think or pray. But if we are going to go through these difficult times; If we are creating a world where everyone has the opportunity to find a job and pay for college; If we are going to save the environment and remove future epidemics, we have to do it together. So stay alive for the struggle of others. Protecting the rights of others. Leave all the old ways that divide us: sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed and setting the world on a different path.

When you need help, Michelle and I have taken on the mission of our Foundation to provide young people like you with the skills to lead in our own communities and be connected with other youth leaders in the country and the world Could.

But the truth is that we do not need to tell what we have to do.

Because in many ways, you have already begun to lead.

Congratulations class of 2020. Keep making us feel proud.

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