Have you ever had that somebody who was a role in your own eyes? That individual whom you thought “wow, I want to be exactly just like them.” I want to possess there drive and power someday. Their motivation and endeavor. That individual who aims for the stars and is never afraid of failure. That individual who stands for whatever they believe in and keep going even when things get tough. That individual who consistently encourages others to be best they can be. Ladies and gentlemen, all these qualities that I have described suits the person that in my own eyes is an all-rounded role model. Ashley Graham Marchman. She has been a great inspiration to me continually reminding me to be the best I can be.
As many of you already know, Ashley is the daughter of Beth and Frank Marchman. She attended Heritage for the longer part of her life. She has two brothers Ben and Alden who just like their sister, went to Heritage. She was actively involved in sports there and became very outstanding in almost everything she tried. One amazing quality that Ashley possessed was her leadership expressed on and off the pitch. She put others ahead of herself. She just winded up her fourth year at Furman where she both studied pre-med and played soccer. Ashley became my role model as a young kid growing up in the Heritage Family. I yearned to be her. The fact that she played amazing soccer which turned out to be my favorite sport made my request for permissions to come and watch the Varsity games to see Ashley playing. I acted cool around her and felt honored when she could say Hey to me. She inspired me beyond measure as a young middle schooler to strive as much as I could to be the best I could be. Following right in her footsteps was a dream of mine, and having someone to observe raised my hopes to realize that it could be done.
Just like Ashley, the young people of this generation can also make a difference. We need the young generation to step up and rise to the occasion. The world needs your enthusiasm, daring, energy, and imagination in approaching life — a quality of mind and heart. The preparedness to follow your passions irrespective of whether they will lead you to affluence and fame. The readiness to question conservative wisdom and reconsider all doctrines a deficiency of regard for all the outdated markers of success as comfort and prestige. A commitment instead of engaging in what is meaningful to you and what helps other individuals. That is what makes a difference in the current world. Find someone to be successful for and strive to raise their hopes, and help them as much as you can to meet their needs. You might look at yourself in the mirror as you will be traveling back home and see someone who is not sure of what to do with his or her lives. That is what precisely what you might see. But a distressed child might look at your direction and see a mentor.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a body of work is all about. Building a body of work is all about the daily labor, the many personal acts, and the choices both big and small that add up with time, over a lifetime to an eternal legacy. There is nothing contingent that possesses the right to steal our delight. In whatever we do, let us do it for an Audience of One. Experience is not what happens to us but whatever that we do with what happens to us.
Wrench, J. S., Goding, A., Johnson, D. I., & Attias, B. A. (2011). Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking.