Duke TIP—Scenes from the 2019 Grand Recognition Ceremony

Duke TIP—Scenes from the 2019 Grand Recognition Ceremony


Parents, siblings,
grandparents, friends, second cousins twice removed: I bid you welcome to Duke
University and to this lovely facility. In some basketball games you’ll
see the opposing team come out of locker room from right
around there and they walk into the stadium and they look
up in the ceiling with awe like they were in a planetarium,
taking in the sights of this most imposing
and beloved facility. Now I always find it a little
bit amusing when I’m asked to speak in Cameron because the
only athletic prowess I ever showed was the hundred yard dash
back to my bedroom after dinner so I could get
back on my computer. My name is Shawna Young and
I’m the executive director of Duke TIP. I was actually identified by the
program when I was in seventh grade just a
couple of years ago. So I’d like to pause and
recognize who brought you here today. When I usually ask the
question ‘why are you here?’, many will say ‘well
my parents made me’. They made you come because they
have a big vision for who you are now and
who you will become. They’ve got it figured out. So I’d love for each of you
to stand up and just recognize your parents, guardians, and fas
for all of their support of you. So turn to your family and
recognize and thank them for their hard work. Thank you. I was absolutely nerdy when I
was in middle school and for high school and post high
school up until this moment. And when I was in
middle school, I loved school. I loved learning. I loved classes. I loved homework. But it sometimes felt like
there’s a disconnect between what I liked doing in school
and maybe what some of my friends or my peers
in the classroom liked. I was nerdy but
also extremely outgoing. And in some
ways incredibly confident. My sense of my own awesomeness
did not align with what many of my classmates valued. Right? So I was popular within
a subset of the sort of smart kid clique. That’s something that really shd
me as as a child. I was just noticing how
other people are different. And if you are different or
even if you feel different, that it can really change
your perspective on the world. And I try to make a
positive out of that, thinking t those experiences maybe have mae
a little bit more of a compassionate person, a little t
more of a generous person or
understanding person. What I want to encourage you to
do is as you grow into who you are is to embrace who
you are and recognize that your uniqueness is needed your
uniqueness makes you different and what makes you
different makes you special. When I look out upon you, my heart smiles. My heart smiles because I think
about not just who you are today but who you will
be in the near future. So when I see groups of
young people who’ve already done remarkable things, I
always think Who’s the person who’s going to
do the thing that it hasn’t even occurred to
me is possible. Right? And those are the
people who give me hope. We at Duke are not looking
for students to adopt cookie cutter text book approaches
for getting into college. You’ll often hear us say
that we’re looking for interestg people who are
doing interesting things. That does not necessarily mean
following the well trodden path of being an Olympic athlete
while saving the whales on the weekends and curing
cancer in the summers. If you’re a really excellent
musician and you decide to spend all of your time
leaning into your instrument, ts wonderful. If you decide that yu
do two or three things really well and you want to
combine them in an interesting way, that’s pretty
great as well. We’re looking for excellence
in whatever way you manifest it. So don’t waste your talents,
your skills, and your passions following somebody
else’s example. Be truly excellent in whatever
you choose, and we’ll hope to see you again in just
a few years. Go Duke.
Congratulations.

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *