Can you smell what The Rock is commencing?
A few weeks ago Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a simple question on his Instagram, “Where are you?” The questioned was posed as a call for leadership in response to the current climate in America from the racial injustices that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Well, the former WWE superstar shared that he found his answer in an unlikely candidate, a high school senior.
After seeing Johnson’s post on social media Lorraine Angelakos, a graduating senior from Pompano Beach High School in Florida, reached out to the actor inviting him to deliver their commencement speech. Along with a letter, which The Rock says “knocked [him] off [his] feet,” Angelakos sent a $7 down payment – the exact amount of money the star had in his pocket when he got kicked out of the Canadian football League and began his wrestling career. In her letter, senior class president Angelakos wrote
“I think of you as an inspiration to our youth, to help remind us that hard work, positivity and perseverance will pay off no matter how hard the road might seem. Most commencement speakers and celebrities are sought for after you complete college, but I think the time is now in your senior year when some students won’t have that luxury to attend college. With the help of someone like you, you can inspire them. They deserve it now with you as their inspiration.”
Her offer that “sealed the deal”
“As part of a good faith request, I have enclosed seven bucks as a downpayment for your services.”
In the video, Johnson proceeds to deliver a powerful speech where he inspires the graduates for the work that’s ahead of them and gives tender yet realistic advice. “You guys are the ones who are going to normalize equality. We’re going to build a pathway, that’s my accountability, myself and others we’re going to build that pathway. You guys are going to make sure it happens and that it stays that way forever,” he shared. He advises, “‘always put your money where your heart is. Your heart, your mana and your instinct will always be your North Star.” He concludes with the most powerful sentiment yet by saying “We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for. To all the graduates of 2020, congratulations, thank you for being our leaders. We got this.”
And just like that, there is hope in the universe again.
Check out the entire inspirational speech below!
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