On the evening of Thursday, June 21, 2012, the Brooklyn Center campus held its quarterly graduation event at Maple Grove High School. For the Spring 2012 quarter, 26 graduates participated in the ceremony; there were 32 graduates total. The evening began with a welcome from Jana Gymer-Koch, Campus Director.
Stephanie Timberlake followed as the evening’s keynote speaker. Timberlake has quite the background in both the music industry and in charitable work, and she has now teamed up with her sister to open a flagship rescue animal adoption center in Plymouth, MN. Throughout her life, she was constantly told that she could not do a task, which only made her want to do it more, even if it was not an easy path. She gave the graduates several pieces of advice to follow:
- Her dad always told her to make a decision, and for six months to not look back. If she did not like her decision, she could simply make a new one.
- “Figure out what you love and do it. Forget the critics. Stop wanting what you do not have, and look at what you do have.” (Timberlake)
- “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” (Jane Goodall)
- “Life is a journey, not a destination.” (Timberlake quoted this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote also as lyrics from an Aerosmith song.)
Timberlake truly was an inspiration to the graduates.
Following the keynote, two students addressed their peers. Chanell Walton was the first speaker; she earned her Diploma as a Business Administrative Assistant. Walton currently runs a non-profit organization, Dynamic Youth Connections. Now that she has finished her program, Walton plans on continuing to build her business because she wants to be someone who makes actions speak louder than words. She would also like to serve as a role model to those who do not want to go to college; once she was that person who saw college as a waste of time and money. Eventually, she would like to come back for her Associate’s Degree.
Laura Holt was the second speaker; she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Business. Holt took a more unique approach for her speech and read a poem that she wrote about her journey. She described her love for music dating back to when she was three years old playing with her Fisher Price turntable, which she brought to show the audience; this led to her own pretend talk show “Laura’s Lectures.” She explained that someday she hopes to live in New York City and work in the music industry. For now, though, she will continue to do freelance work in public relations, graphic design, web design and management with local musicians, a tattoo/airbrush artist, and a media company out of Phoenix, AZ. Holt was also recently hired as an executive assistant/social media specialist to the CEO/Producer of The Cabin Studios in Minneapolis, MN.
Dean of Faculty, Ann Deiman, and the program chairs passed out the awards and the evening ended with a reception of cake and punch for all of the guests to enjoy. Congratulations Spring 2012 Graduates!