"What will your essential service be?" Oprah's powerful message for the Class of 2020

"What will your essential service be?" Oprah's powerful message for the Class of 2020
Oprah Winfrey delivers powerful message to Class of 2020.

During the 90 minute live-streamed commencement ceremony (I saw it on Facebook Watch but know it appeared on other channels too), co-hosted by Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, a variety of stars gave advice to the graduating seniors including Jennifer Garner, Awkwafina,  Amy Schumer, Matthew McConaughey, Gloria Estefan, Selena Gomez, Ashley Graham, Gordon Ramsey, Marlee Matlin, Steve Harvey, Usher, Sebastian Maniscalco, Tim Tebow, Andy Cohen, Rob Lowe, musician Marshmallow, Dice Nice, Hugh Jackman, model Winnie Harlow, Simone Biles, John Mayor and dozens of others. Even Cookie Monster made an appearance.

The ceremony acknowledged high schools and colleges in the U.S. by name, state by state, that included photos and videos of the class of 2020 and messages from deans and principals from across the country.

Miley Cyrus “sang” ” her hit song “The Climb” that looked more like lip-synching to me (my own opinion) but at least she was there. And Jennifer Garner introduced a spectacular group of high school students called the “Intonations” that was so talented.

One of the students spotlighted was Ashley Lawrence, a senior studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University. She created face masks for the hearing impaired that has a clear plastic window in the middle for lip reading. She shared the pattern with people from across the globe who had contacted her. She is also trying different things for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids if they can’t wrap around the ears. Brava Ashley! You’re already a difference-maker!

Here are some comments/advice the celebs had for the class of 2020:

John Mayer’s advice–“I don’t have to wait on the world to change anymore because I know, more than ever, that the generation you’re in has this handled.”

Matthew McConaughey–“Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what you want to do in life. I’m 50 and have many days where I’m still not quite sure what I want to be. But I work on it, stay the process and try to enjoy it as much as I can.”

Simone Biles (world’s most decorated gymnast)–“As an athlete, there’s nothing quite like the bus ride home after a win. You’re happy because you’ve nailed it. This is your bus ride home. Your victory lap. I know you’re missing your medal ceremony but that ceremony doesn’t change a thing. You’ve already won.”

Steve Harvey-” It’s the dreams I had in high school that made me what I am today. I’m a major, major star. I ain’t messing around man. If it happened to me, why can’t it happen to you? You have to lock in on that dream and never give up.”

Tim Tebow (all American quarterback)–“Life is not about tomorrow, it’s not about the next day. It’s about this day. And every day when you show up, know that you can show up with purpose and passion, every single day.”

Marshmallow-“Really look at yourself and ask what do I love doing, what makes me happy?”

Rob Lowe–“Right now, you all have the ability to be the greatest generation the world has ever seen.”

To watch Oprah’s powerful and inspiring commencement address, click HERE!

Congrats to the Class of 2020! May you light up the world with your good work!

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