De Andre Armstrong Thumbnail
De Andre Armstrong

Good morning,

President Redmond, platform party, my fellow graduates, family, and friends. I am honored to speak on behalf of our graduating class!

As I stand before you, look out at the diverse cultures within this room, and speak before graduates I have never personally met, I have decided that our common ground is that we are all winners.

Therefore, I will address the room as though we are brothers and sisters. Let me first acknowledge the current milestone in our lives, which is our graduation from the various courses offered by Laurus College. While we have many people to thank for making this day possible (especially our family members) we owe so much to the Laurus college staff who supported us on our journey.

De Andre Armstrong Speaking

I am honored to have been led, supported, and instructed by the array of individuals at Laurus College, and I would like to take a moment to acknowledge them and their role in helping me arrive here today!

Thank you Dr. Shana Miller, who while teaching classes earned her Phd. Laurence Butler, one of my many capable cloud computing instructors, has so many certifications, that I had motion sickness while reading them. He has an MBA, an M.S. in cybersecurity, CISA, CISSM, CEH, CNDA, and a PMP. You both have inspired me to see that one can always go further and become more knowledgeable.

Thank you to my superhero IT Director Michael Courter. His knowledge and sense of humor made the journey so much more enjoyable. Thanks to the many IT instructors who helped me move closer to my goal and this day.

Thank you to Liz Gutierrez. She is a Dodger baseball fan and will go to bat for any of the Laurus students. She is what I call a “ride-or-die” counselor.

You may wonder how the student commencement speaker knows so much about the laurus staff and their personalities, or accomplishments. It’s called communication and attention to detail. It is something that we will surely need to employ if we are to succeed in our future endeavors. As the world becomes more technically advanced, there is nothing that can replace human interaction!

De Andre Armstrong Speaking

As an IT graduate and someone who enjoys a good laugh, I will share a few things that I learned as a student at Laurus College.

  1. A computer does not work if it is not plugged in and turned on
  2. The cloud is a place where information is stored on servers, not a place in the sky where God reads our email
  3. I have never seen Ted at a TED conference or giving a TED talk

We all need to understand technology to succeed in today’s world, but without understanding the importance of fostering relationships we’ll never achieve our potential.

For me, that understanding began when I first started as a student. I knew I came to Laurus to learn, but quickly realized that the staff here had a student-first mentality. They were teaching us team building and collaboration all along.

They were, and are, our resources long after we crossed this stage to receive a diploma, which is our key. This key will open doors for a new life, new opportunities, new ways to serve, and new examples to set. The passionate people of Laurus College have given us that foundation, and the tools to succeed.

If you are here today you know that you have the ability to make an impact on your children and the world because they will pay more attention to what you do because you did it — you accomplished a goal!

Today’s privilege is our call to action!

I encourage you to be great in everything you do. Today is proof that our capabilities are endless because we are winners. To win, we must embrace rejection and failure— as we have all done at some point on this journey. We’ve learned the necessity of practice, focus, and staying true to our vision.

Let us go forward from today, to be committed, persistent, and adamant. To adapt to difficult and challenging life experiences, and to always remember that what is meant for us, will be ours!

De Andre Armstrong Speaking

In closing, I must give honor and praise to God for the blessings he bestows upon me. To my beautiful Nanet, who adorns me with her love and exceptional lifestyle experiences, and to my brothers, Deryl and Tony Armstrong, who protect me from hurt, harm, and danger.

To my mother, who could not be here today, because she is in heaven pleading with the lord, to make me into something, before I get up there.

Finally, to PJ Pangilinan, Celia Sally Exscudero, Teresa Fowler, Wendy Flores, Tedi Jones, John Sparks, Randall Lewis, Allen Polfer, Susana Guerrero, Steven Marshall, Iain Freckelton, Alice Okali, Nat Keebler and the Laurus College tech staff, Nancy Munkres, Director Melanie Bryant, Director Michael Courter, Greg Gardner, Joe Avila, Kasey McNair, Laurie Manabusan, Patricia McClarien, Dr. Shana Miller, Greggory Follett, Laurence Butler, and President Redmond: Thank you for your commitment to the students at Laurus College.

Congratulations graduates of Laurus College 2023, I wish you Godspeed.