Ramon Lopez-Villegas, Commencement Fall 17 COLFA COST

Ramon Lopez-Villegas, Commencement Fall 17 COLFA COST


Graduates, this is your day. It is you we
are here to celebrate for this reason a member of the graduating class has been
invited to address the commencement audience. Today’s speaker Ramon Lopez-
Villegas, who has earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Spanish. He was named the
outstanding graduate in the Department of English and languages. Ramon always
loved school and entered second grade upon his arrival in the United States
from Mexico. Ramon played football and was captain of the powerlifting team he realized that these athletic experiences enabled him
to develop valuable life skills. From age 16 Ramon has worked in a variety of jobs
often two at a time going from busboy to associate manager of a restaurant and
doing gas pipeline work. What he really wanted was to be a teacher and a coach.
Ramon’s employers encouraged him to go to college he earned an associate’s
degree at Weatherford College before enrolling here at Tarleton. Named to the
Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, Ramon has been a member of the Hispanic Student Organization. He participated in a study abroad trip to Colombia and is a
Tarleton Renaissance Scholar an organization for high ability
students interested in teaching at the high school level. Ramon has earned a
teacher’s certification in Spanish. He plans to teach and coach and eventually
to earn a graduate degree. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Ramón López-Villegas. Good afternoon Dr. Dottavio, Provost
Murray, distinguished guests, family, fellow, graduates, family, and
friends. It is truly an honor for me to speak on behalf of the class of 2017.
Now before I continue I want to quickly say thank you to all my Stephenville High School students who made my last semester in an amazing experience. Now,
when I received notice that I would have the opportunity to speak today I was first
in shock and secondly overwhelmed with joy and then quickly began on working
what I thought would make a good speech, it was horrible. I then thought about my high school graduation speech, which my best
friend gave, but all I could remember was that he rapped Lose Yourself by Eminem
for the first few seconds. Fortunately for you rap fans my rapping skills are not
what they used to be so that wasn’t much help. Well I know I should keep this brief so here it is. The year was 1810 and Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata had just began
the, completely kidding. Well, since I am here I will tell you a little bit about
my life. When I graduated high school the vast majority of my friends went to
college. I didn’t have the means to go to college and honestly I
had no idea how the process of college worked. I then started working at a range of 60 to 90 hours a week between my two
jobs, but I felt like I could do more. I then informed my employer I wanted to
attend college he was happy and proud of me. Four years later here I am and even though it is cliche never did I imagine
that I’d be here today. That the same boy who spoke no English when he first
arrived in this great country at the age of 8 and who metaphorically and
literally at times saw more rain on the inside of his house and on the outside
or the same young boy who used to play in dumpsters in Mexico due to the lack
of playgrounds or who many years ago stood alongside his parents hopelessly
in a school hallway, because he understood nothing would be here today
given a speech or from being completely honest graduating from a university. At
times, peers, I’m sure some of you had similar feelings in difficult situations
or thoughts of how this day would never come. Especially on the nights of little to no sleep then having a test and the essay a
quiz and a pile homework to complete on the same week or on the countless and
unfortunate occasions of missing priceless time with friends and family
members. But thanks to our perseverance and our many of supporters we are here
and those moments of endless assignments are only haunting flashbacks. However, as
we sit here moments away from graduating I’m sure all of you will agree with me
that those difficult moments extremly difficult moments and
flashbacks are finally worth it and it paid off. For years after today, fellow
graduates, I encourage you to go out into the world and make perfect memories like
the one we’re doing today, because I’m sure that by now most of you know that
life presents a great deal of obstacles. Regardless if life presents obstacles, I
challenge you to turn these into opportunities. In addition to this I urge
you to do great things things like using your knowledge to better humanity,
reading a great book, making and learning from mistakes, falling in love, or simply
adding extra bacon to your cheeseburger. I urge you the great people this
university has prepare you to be and also help also help others follow a
similar path. As I stand here I could tell you more about my many struggles in
life as a student and as an immigrant, but I just do not feel like
this is what I need to do, because just look at my path you, class of 2017, have
all had your own struggles you neither I nor anyone else truly knows the amount
of sacrifices you made to be here today. Only you know and only you have a choice
to continue making sacrifices for a better future, because as my parents have said to me countless times all sacrifice has its rewards. Now, sacrifices also comes with appreciation
with this comes most importantly my gratefulness to my parents for having
sacrificed their entire style of living, many close friendships, and being close
to their family and friends in order to give my siblings and me a better
future. Mama papa los quiero mucho.
Also Silvia, thank you for putting up with my terrible jokes, always being
there for me, flying 14 hours to see me today. And thank you Tarleton for simply sending me that
acceptance letter and for providing me with many passionate staff members and professors. To the staff I say thank you for your assistance and
professors although we can’t say we require every human bone former
anatomy class or every important day from our history class we can say thank
you for the great deal of knowledge you have passed on to us and also for the
caffeine addiction many of us now have. In conclusion, I thank you all of you
because all of you have shaped my years of Tarleton into an unforgettable
experience. Now with my last few words and what I
hope you will remember from the speech, is to go on to the world and make it a
better place, because class of 2017 and forever fellow Tarleton Texans I know
you can do it. God bless all of you, we did it.

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