American Nicaraguan High School Graduation

Remarks by Ambassador Dogu
June 3, 2017

It is an honor to be with you today to celebrate your achievement, as this truly is an achievement of not just the students, but families, teachers and school administrators. Briefly, I will try to share with you some words of wisdom.

Thirty years ago, I never would have dreamed of being Ambassador. At the time, it was not my goal. But I’m here today because I have always chosen to try something different.

By that, I mean to take on positions and responsibilities that initially made me uncomfortable. This may sound strange to you. But when you stretch out of your comfort zone, it puts you in a position of always learning. So if I leave you with one thing today, it is to be uncomfortable. Choose universities far from home. Sign up for that class you know nothing about. Volunteer to lead the meeting. Go for the job you may think you’re not qualified for. Make this discomfort become second nature, and it will help you grow, learn and develop. This will make you a better student, employee, family member, and citizen.

To the parents: only a few years ago I was in your seats, watching my children graduate from high school. Watching them walk across the stage to proudly claim their diplomas demonstrates that hard work pays off. And I don’t just mean for them- for me too! I re-learned more about calculus than I ever cared to learn!

So congratulations to you as well, to the parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and siblings in the room. None of the graduates sitting here today could have come this far without the extensive support that you have provided over many years. This is a time of accomplishment not only for the graduates, but for the whole family.

Thank you so much for inviting me here tonight to share this moment. It’s been a pleasure, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.