Steffanie MacLeod is the 2011 Thompson Rivers University valedictorian for the graduation ceremonies held Friday  at TRU.

Steffanie MacLeod is the 2011 Thompson Rivers University valedictorian for the graduation ceremonies held Friday at TRU.

Young mother validates value of education

The following is TRU valedictorian Steffanie MacLeod’s speech during TRU’s graduation ceremonies Friday

The following is TRU valedictorian Steffanie MacLeod’s speech during TRU’s graduation ceremonies Friday.

Steffanie Macleod

Special to The Tribune

Good evening graduates, faculty, staff, family, and friends.  

It truly is an honour to be standing here tonight, on behalf of all of the students here with me.  

So from all of us, I wanted to first thank the organizing committee, and all of those who have made tonight’s celebration possible.  

Thank you all so much for putting this ceremony together, and making it a truly memorable event.

To all of the faculty, thank you for your guidance, your knowledge, and your inspiration. 

And to all of our family and friends, who are not only showing their support by being here tonight, but who have showed their support all throughout the years, none of us could be up here tonight without all that you have done for us… .

Thank you… .

For the past two years I have been a full-time student at TRU, and they have probably been the most challenging years of my life.

I can admit that I was a little stubborn after graduating from high school, and chose to take a year off, which easily turned into two years.

And by the time I decided to come back I was married and had an eight-month-old son, and to be completely honest I don’t think I really knew what I was getting myself into.

I can still remember walking into the registrar’s office one afternoon, during the first week of the fall semester classes, with the intention of just picking up some brochures and course information, and walking out registered with a full course load.

Everything between that moment and now has been somewhat of a blur. 

And, well, none of us share the same story as to how or why we are here. We do all share some common threads … the hours devoted to writing papers, preparing presentations, and studying for exams, the sleepless nights and the twitching eye during the weeks when everything seemed to be due at once, grieving the $200 that was sadly spent on a single textbook, the loss of weekends and, at times, the loss of sanity.

However, I’m sure we also can all relate to the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, and knowing that you did your very best.

The opportunity to meet new people and to make lifelong friends, the confidence to not only succeed, but to excel, and the recognition of one’s potential.

All of us here today are a testimony to where drive, determination, and perseverance can take us.

I have always been brought up to believe in the invaluableness of education, and now that I am both a student and a mother I feel that I can really start to appreciate this lesson.

I have learned more from my university experience than the definitions of the boldfaced words in a textbook, the countless formulas and diagrams put to memory, how to write a proper thesis statement, or how to properly format an MLA, APA, or Chicago-style paper.  

Education, as Nelson Mandela once said, “is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and I strongly believe this.  

For me, education has transformed how I look at life. It has opened my eyes to a world with amazing opportunities, and even greater potential.

It has given me purpose, direction, and inspiration for the road ahead.

And while for some of us formal schooling is at an end, and for others, only just beginning, our education will be lifelong, and the lessons that we have learned, and the transformations that have been set in motion, will continue to impact us, and all of those around us, wherever we will go. 

So tonight, we are not only here to celebrate the past, and the challenges and obstacles that have been overcome, but to also celebrate the future, and all of the possibilities, within each individual here.

Congratulations graduates!

May you continue to be an example, and a light in this world, your knowledge and your confidence infectious. Because with an open mind, a positive outlook, and a strong sense of who you are,  anything is truly possible.

Thank you.  

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile RCMP investigate theft at airport hangar, 88 other incidents

Incident is one of 89 calls attended by police from Feb. 17 to 23.

Williams Lake city council is interested in acquiring the former Poplar Glade School property on Eleventh Avenue. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city council sets sights on two former school properties

School District said there is a five-step process for property disposal

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

Most Read