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Grad Advice

By Communities In Schools May 19, 2015

We are the community of Communities In Schools. We live all across the country, we are young and not-so-young, we are teachers, business leaders, parents, grandparents, friends, and, most of all, we are proud of you. We may never meet you face-to-face, but your accomplishments make us celebrate. In recognition of your amazing success, we came together to collectively write you a #CISGradAdvice commencement speech, so we can share some of the lessons we have learned in life with you:


First of all, congratulations! Since you have made it this far, you are obviously a determined person. 

Continue to aim high and recognize that you've accomplished something great. You set a goal and you stuck with it. Stay encouraged and remember: school may end but learning is lifelong. Be brave with your life. Keep working to fulfill your dreams - even if it is your life's work. It's not where you start, but where you finish that matters.

It is ok to not know what you want to be "when you grow up," as long as your achievements are continually opening doors for you. Everyone has a talent and once you discover it, use it to the best of your ability. Take advantage of any opportunities you have for internships or externships. Find a mentor in the field you wish to pursue. Never underestimate the power of ENTHUSIASM!

Do NOT procrastinate! Seriously. Don't do it. 

Ask lots of questions as you plan your future. And ask for help when you need it. Everyone needs support every now and then. Life is full of highs and lows - always do your best, then strive to make your best even better. Set your standards high and be part of the solution, not the problem.

You may make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail. Know the difference between running toward what you want and away from what you don't want. The only way to see where you are going is to keep looking ahead. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the present. 

Enjoy every sandwich. Brush and floss.  

Keep looking for ways to make the world around you a better place because it will make you a better person, too. Do a year of service (Go AmeriCorps!). When you help others you help yourself. 

Read the Constitution. Register to vote. 

Travel abroad and learn a second (or third) language. Nada que vale la pena, es facil. 

Be a good teammate. Stand up to bullies, especially those bullying others. 

Read a lot. Reading a good newspaper, novel or other piece of prose or fiction will not just improve your skills, it will empower you and make you a better citizen. Reading gets you knowledge. Knowledge gets you power. There’s no such thing as knowing too much.

Make friends with people from different generations. Call your mother. 

Remember that nothing on the internet is ever erased, meaning your digital footprint is really your digital tattoo. Use spellcheck. 

In order to get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done. Push your limits. Put yourself in a position to be lucky (and someday you will). 

Keep smiling! :) 

Appreciate the beauty of sunrises and sunsets and everything in between. Take advantage of the opportunities to hear speakers, go to concerts, see performances.

Remind yourself once a day that you have purpose and worth. Remind yourself twice a day that everyone else does, too. 

Your greatest fears and worries are created by your imagination. You might ask "why me?" but why NOT you? Don't ever let someone tell you that you are not good enough. You just graduated high school, which proves that you CAN accomplish your goals. 

It’s good to be different from others and it’s tough to stand out when all you’re trying to do is fit in. Do not ever underestimate yourself. There will always be people who will not understand you, and who will not believe in you. Do not defy their expectations, but rather go beyond your own.

Once a member of CIS, you will always be a part of our CIS family. You have a lifetime of choices in front of you. In a world where you can be anything - BE YOURSELF! 

Be proud of who you are! Relish your individuality and create a life where you can look in the mirror each morning and like the person who is staring back at you. Be someone your younger self would look up to. And as a reminder of what your younger self might have said, we leave you with the words of a fourth grader: 

Everybody makes mistakes. I have felt like I failed before. I remind myself to study and believe in myself. If you don’t get something, ask questions. Take deep breaths. Think good things. 

Class of 2015 – we think you will do good things. Keep making us proud!


Your Communities In Schools Family


To read more #CISGradAdvice visit our 2015 National Yearbook. If you'd like to share some advice or life lessons with our students, please add to the comments below.