Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kimberly James Graduation Speech

Good Afternoon everyone! I am Kimberly James and I am honored to have been chosen to be your graduation speaker.

LA Fellows, look around at the staff, partners, instructors, fellow Fellows and think about all that we’ve learned in the past seven weeks. We have all come a long way in our job search.

I’d like to tell you a story. As most of you know, I take the train from downtown out to LAVC four times a week. And for anyone who knows the Red Line, there are some pretty crazy things that happen. Earlier this week while I was riding the train to class, a fight broke out – a physical one with a lot of yelling. Then a woman yells out, “Hey! HEYY!!” “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” And everyone fell silent with these words.

I believe that these are very powerful words - “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” These words are important for us as LA Fellows. We may not be fighting on a train, but we have found ourselves in a very difficult situation. We need to remember to not fall victim to our current situation.

I want to thank our instructors for sharing their wisdom with me. You have each empowered me to become stronger and to take a proactive role in my job search.

• I now know who I am, what my values are, and, in the words of one of our instructors, what my business would be.

• I have also had great guidance to put together a solid marketing plan – giving me a direction for my job search

• I’ve learned what it means to position myself. To always think of where I’m going, and not just where I’ve been especially when it comes to marketing myself on a resume.

• I’ve been pushed to set future goals, not just for the next week or month – but even 10 years out. I’m encouraged to keep moving forward.

• And most importantly, I’ve been reminded that a good attitude will take me where I need to go. And of course, who could forget – You deserve what you accept.

I call on all of my LA Fellows – as we move on to our next steps – Please do not forget what you have learned, what has motivated you, and how far you have come.

Once again, “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” But keep taking steps to move forward toward your goals.

We’re not done yet – we still have work to do!

On behalf of the LA Fellows, I would like to thank the Job Training Team and partners for creating and implementing this program.

Also, thank you to all of our trainers who have shared their wisdom with us – and for kicking us into shape.

Nonprofit organizations – thank you for taking us in and providing us with great internship opportunities.

And finally, I personally would like to thank each and every Fellow here in this room. I have truly learned a lot from each and every one of you and would like to thank you for your openness to share your experiences and your expertise with me each day.

So thank you! And congratulations to the first class of the LA Fellows Program!

Click here to watch Kimberly James Speech

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