I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to the graduating class of 2020. It has no doubt been a memorable year filled with unusual circumstances.
The perseverance that you have displayed in overcoming these challenges has helped you grow and provided you with tools that will serve you well on the next chapter of your journey.
I hope each of you takes the time to reflect on the journey that has brought you here today, recognize the obstacles you have overcome and thank those who have helped you along the way.
This is a significant milestone in your life and one that is worthy of celebration.
As you enter the world as a new graduate, there will be no shortage of new opportunities for you to experience – take every one that comes your way because you never know what you will get out of it, even if it is not what you planned or expected.
Seek out adventures and try new things. Build new relationships and be mindful of how you interact with people. Remember that people may forget what you said, or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
You are entering the world at a time when we need your innovation, kindness and creativity more than ever. You have been presented with the chance to make a difference and affect change to create the world you wish to live in, and each of you has a responsibility to contribute.
My hope is that as you move forward and make your mark on the world, you will do so with empathy, understanding and compassion for those around you.
The best of luck to the 2020 graduates on your journey ahead. I look forward to seeing what you will all accomplish.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.