Commencement speakers hope to inspire

By Kaie Quigley & Michael Maruk – Co-Editor-In-Chief & Art Director

Like all great things, they must come to an end. Commencement is one milestone in particular that stands out as a great accomplishment in academia. It celebrates the completion of schooling for many as well as the introduction to the workforce of tomorrow. Luckily enough there are a few chosen to inspire those forward in that next step and we were able to have a chance to speak to a couple of them to get their thoughts on life after Lasell. 

Speaking for the Undergraduate class of 2022 is early education major, Gabby Bertoldi. Bertoldi went for a unique angle with the theme of her speech being about the power of a Lasell student. “There’s a couple of jokes. It’s definitely inspirational, I did a personal story, but I tried to make it as relatable as possible and include all the key points that ya know that every student here feels,” said Bertoldi, “I think it will be good.” 

When asked if there was a favorite highlight from the speech, Bertoldi replied with a humorous anecdote about her first night at Lasell. “There’s another line that’s really funny, where I talk about when my parents drop me off on move-in, and I think to myself, ‘who am I supposed to eat dinner with?’ Like I don’t know anybody, what do I do? So there’s a lot of good moments in there, I think.”

Lastly, leaving the keynote speaker to tie it all together is the Founder and President of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, Razia Jan. Jan is known for her humanitarian efforts across New England, Europe, and Afghanistan. After moving to Duxbury from Afghanistan in 1970, Razia quickly involved herself in the community, becoming a longtime member and President of the local Rotary club.

Jan has been involved with a multitude of charities and organizations, namely the Zabuli Education Center, which focuses on providing education opportunities for young girls in Afghanistan.

Razia’s vision for her impactful foundation stemmed from a visit back to her home country shortly after the attacks of September 11. There, Jan saw first-hand the impact that war and unrighteous rule had on Afghan women and girls. They were not given the same opportunities she was as a child, and she wanted that to change.

Jan has made frequent trips to Afghanistan since the start of her foundation, most recently in April. When she arrives back in the states and takes the stage in May, Jan will have another group of young people to inspire— the Class of 2022.

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