BHW Crew Gives Commencement Speech

Speech by Jon Fitzgerald. Photo by James Lockridge.

Big Heavy World crew Jon Fitzgerald was honored to present a commencement speech for the Think College Vermont Program graduation ceremony at Johnson State College:

"I would like to start out by saying Thanks for everyone who came here today.

Students, mentors family and friends.

The past two weeks students and mentors have been having fun, eating Mexican food, and watching their favorite episodes. Visiting our favorite characters from Hank Hill to Agent Gibbs. This fun comes from a lot of hard work, dedication and patience over the past semester.

Think College has supported us in working hard, and being the very best we can be, learning and growing. We have done what we have liked to do and learned a lot from baking, graphic design, public safety to hosting a radio show.

People with disabilities have often been told that they could not go to college or even make it in the world. Think College has helped us prove those people wrong by helping us make new friends and doing whatever it has been that we have loved to do. We have set our mind to college and have been successful.

Jeff, Thorin and Ashley have been great friends to me, and the mentors. I have known Thorin for a while through Green Mountain Self-Advocates. And I know that they all have such great senses of humor. Jeff can move on the dance floor, Ashley has a singing voice of pure gold and trust me, if my she'd caught on fire I know Thorin would be there to put it out.

As we leave Think College we will be faced with higher and more difficult obstacles, but if we work hard and feel confident and use what we have learned through Think College we can overcome the obstacles. We can take away what we have learned from mentors and take the advice from Chris and Christina and push forward in achieving our goals.

If someone thinks or has been told they cannot be successful in college, this not true. College can be possible for anyone who works hard and sets their mind to it. Just like we all have done.

When we leave here today, myself, Jeff, Ashley, Thorin and the two others who have already graduated the program Brandon and Anthony, we leave as people not just people with disabilities.

Best of luck to everyone in your futures. And first year guys know you will get here too, and will experience what we have experienced so work hard, be proud, have fun and do your best. If you are ever in trouble or need some advice call us and we will help you out!"