Student speaker reminds grads of day's importance

Just before the convocation concluded, student speaker Ivan Quintana told fellow graduates that while the day was one to celebrate, it also offered him a chance to reflect on the duties one owes to society. He mentioned Esperanza, the main character in Sandra Cisneros’s novel, “The House of Mango Street.”

“She makes a wish as a child to be able to leave her impoverished neighborhood, to be able to go to college and become a great writer. This meant that she had to leave the only home that she knew, and leave her community,” Quintana said. “We all have made a wish to achieve our dreams and goals, and that often means we get to leave while others stay behind. But just like her, we must realize that we cannot forget who we are, where we come from and that the reason, as Esperanza puts it: ‘I march so far away … (is) to come back for the ones I left behind, for the ones that cannot get out.’”

Quintana received two bachelor's degrees, one in criminology and criminal justice and the other in public service and public policy. He concluded with a wish for the graduates, one he said is similar to Esperanza’s, evoking the Watts College motto: “Be the Solution.”

“I wish for all of you to embrace the joys that you will experience tonight, celebrating this huge milestone with your loved ones,” he said. “Engrave the memories and feelings into your hearts, because the joy and light we get to experience tonight, is what we want others to be able to enjoy. This is why we endeavor to be part of the solution.”

The entire convocation ceremony can be viewed on ASU Live.

Mark J. Scarp

Media Relations Officer, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions