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Alumnae/I Greeting – Nakia Richardson ’07

Good Morning all and Congratulations to the class of 2020 and 2021!

What a blessing it is to have been invited to come back and to be standing up here speaking to you all.

As I stand here now a sharp nostalgia hits me because I remember sitting in those same exact seats looking up, wide eyed and curious. I remember the feelings, the feelings of being overjoyed but also very nervous. Nervous because while sitting in those same seats I had no idea what was waiting for me outside those gates of PMC. But as I stand here, I reflect on the journey I had for four years here and I reflect on the ride that I had after graduation.  I am here to be your big sister and hold your hands for a few minutes and let you know …. Everything is going to work out.  As cliche as that sounds….  It’s the 100 percent truth. As your big sister I am not here to sugar coat anything or even lie to you. I am here to guide you and to only tell you my experiences and how each and every one of them shaped me into the woman I am today.

From 2003- 2007 ( yea I know…. ) I went through so many changes. As a 17-year-old girl I had no idea what was in store for me and boy did I find out.  In high school I was told I would not amount to much and to just give up on furthering my education and career. See I was the class clown, they talkative girl, the girl who knew a little too much about pop culture and enough of my homework in honors English. But I stand here as an Entertainment journalist and a tv producer and I am forever grateful for the many professors, counselors and more that took in a heartbroken high school kid and pushed and encouraged her and because of that, I am where I am today! It was the boldness of Professor Bob Owczarek who told me to “stop, take your time, lift up your head and speak clearly because people want to listen to you. “ and It was the patience of professor Kimberly Small who guided me and taught me everything I needed to know about broadcasting. I am forever thankful for my Communication professors and the many other teachers and faculty members who made me believe that anything I wanted to achieve was possible.

As I look out at you all I am reminded of the wide-eyed girl who sat in those same seats and 100 million thoughts running through my mind. As your big sister I am now excited for your journeys as you leave PMC. The journey may be tougher for some of you, and it will be easier for others. You will find jobs, lose jobs, make money, lose money, find new friends, lose new and old friends. All of this because it’s God’s or a higher power’s protection for you. Many of you will feel rejected because you didn’t get that job you wanted, but it wasn’t rejection… it was protection. I say that to say this…. It all works out. You guys are powerful, you guys are ready and you guys are all deserving of all good things.

To you beautiful people, I wish you nothing but positive vibes, open minds and open hearts. If I can leave you with a piece of advice it would be:  Stay open minded, try new things because the career you may think you want, you may change your mind and you will receive many blessings once you stay open minded. Congratulations again to you all and remember as your big sis I will always be here for you, rooting for you and cheering you on!

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