Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center’s 75 graduates heard from Nevada State Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson at the November 18 Fall Graduation Ceremony. Benitez-Thompson currently works as a hospice social worker and is a former Miss Nevada (2002) and third runner-up to Miss America. However, she had many challenges during her early years and was raised by a single mother who worked long hours to make ends meet.
Benitez-Thompson spoke about how her experience as a hospice worker taught her about the value of living every day to it’s fullest and about making sure that you live a life of purpose that makes a difference to others. She also spoke to the students about the importance of committing to education and how it was a catalyst for positive change in her own life.
“The ability to be phenomenal despite where you come from is something that is a remarkable trait. It’s something that very few people are able to accomplish and achieve and see through. It’s almost in our own little different ways, as if we are defying gravity in some way, as if the law of physics about the path we are supposed to follow somehow changed. But the way that they change is not through circumstance, it’s not through serendipty. It’s not even, many times, through pure luck. It’s through hard work and the decision to make a conscious change in your life…today, you all have done that.”
Benitez-Thompson’s words of wisdom were not lost on the graduates and truly inspired the audience.
Congratulations to the Fall 2011 Sierra Nevada Job Corps Graduates!