“The President’s Perspective”
By Alderman Ashanti Hamilton
Common Council President City of Milwaukee
There’s a celebratory feeling in the air. The Milwaukee Bucks are playing in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001, the Brewers are having a solid start to the season, and the Wave recently won a championship. These achievements provide Milwaukee residents an opportunity to unify and bask in the success that our local teams are having on a national stage. While reveling in these feats is great, we also need to enthusiastically celebrate another type of winning that’s occurring across our City this season – Graduations.
Graduation represents a huge victory for many walking across commencement stages this month. It is a shared end to a wide tapestry of journeys. Some people were expected to walk across that stage from the moment they were born; others defied the odds to get their degrees or diplomas. First-Generation college students are making family history and students are capping off a chapter of their life characterized by hard work and growth as individuals. As we celebrate our high school and college students this weekend, we must also prepare a space for them.
This year, I will have the honor of delivering commencement remarks at several institutions. As I prepare to address our scholars, I have been ruminating on a message that will inspire and motivate our graduates to keep their winning record going. Our high schools, colleges and universities have prepared a wave of alumni ready to make their mark on the world. Eager, bright, and prepared they will go forward and continue to positively impact our city. Entrepreneurs, medical professionals, teachers, electricians, photographers, hundreds of newly skilled motivated individuals will share their gifts and talents in service of making Milwaukee greater. We must accommodate a seat for individuals who have bright minds and hearts at the broader table. Their new ideas and perspectives will inspire innovative ideas and solutions that can create robust organizations and businesses. A new generation of change-makers comes every year and we must be prepared to welcome them with open arms.
As I celebrate the graduation of my daughter this weekend, I will be thinking of all of the other families and graduates taking part in this momentous occasion. To graduates congratulations! Your hard work is recognized and I wish you the best in your future. To the families and loved ones, this is your journey too. Understand how important your contributions were to your loved ones time in school and the impact that it will have on the rest of their lives. I look forward to a time when we celebrate graduations with the same enthusiasm as a playoff win.