SJSU’s 25th Annual Pil-Grad
Our founder, Angelica Cortez, delivered the keynote speech at San Jose State University’s 25th Annual Pilipino Commencement (Pil-Grad) last Saturday, May 26 to 54 graduates and ~500 attendees.
As a former Spartan and past Pil-Grad president, the opportunity was truly both a privilege and honor for her.
She opened her remarks with blatantly asking the Class of 2018 “What they would fight for in their generation?” but not before first laying a primer on our community’s wealth and history that we have in America. She revered our lolas and lolos, moms and dads, aunties and uncles, for their strength, sacrifice, and courage in crossing oceans, fighting in wars, toiling in farm fields, and providing care for families other than their own, to bless their families with college experiences and degrees.
Her speech focused on asking the Class of 2018 to consider three practices:
- Not waiting. She shared her own struggles, fears, and how she waited 7+ years to start LEAD Filipino.
- Embracing failure. She shared a personal story of failure and how it forced her to reflect, revise, rethink, and refine her approach.
- Chasing experiences. She encouraged the class to diversify, widen, and deepen their local, regional, national, and international experiences.
Angelica’s main message to the graduating class? Don’t wait on things you want to do; failures make us better; experiences make us deeper.
Thank you to the 2018 Pil-Grad Committee, this year’s Pil-Grad president Darren Olay, Dr. Alexandria Gerrick, and San Jose State University for inviting Angelica and our larger organization, to celebrate in the achievements of the graduating class.
If you’d like to see a clip of Angelica’s speech, click here.