Couple, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez took it back to their New York roots and teamed up with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza for a special virtual graduation ceremony. The group collaborated to deliver a speech on Tuesday, June 30 via Youtube.
“Class of 2020, we’re so excited and honored to be celebrating this great moment with you,” 44-year old retired MLB star A-Rod began. “Jen and I are both New Yorkers… first-generation Americans with immigrant parents, who worked hard to give us an opportunity to live the American dream.”
50-year old singer and actress J.Lo added, “We know you’ve worked very hard to get here, and that you’re family, friends and teachers must be so proud of the young people you’ve become. You know we’ve had our ups and downs, but we continue to fight the fight.”
During the speech, the couple reflected on life post graduation and encouraged class of 2020 to “become the leaders of tomorrow.”
“We both remember being in your position with an uncertain future ahead of us,” Jennifer shared. “But what we know now is we weren’t really in your shoes. We didn’t have to celebrate our graduation at home, or watch our teachers or graduation speakers on a screen. We didn’t have to learn about our loved ones getting sick, we didn’t have protests for racial equality taking place in our streets every day.” She encouraged students to not be afraid to seek change for a better future.
“You’re not going to be measured in how many times you fall, but how many times you stand up,” he said. “Baseball has taught me well. It is a hard, difficult game. If you fail seven out of 10 times, you end up in Cooperstown. That’s right, the Hall of Fame. It’s the same in business, it’s the same in education, it’s the same in life.”
Jennifer encouraged the 2020 to keep learning even in their adult years. “You may have earned your degree today, but you never stop being a student. Make an effort to learn more and more every single day,” she said. “Change does not come unless you work for it, push for it.”
“You guys truly are the future, and we know you will make this world a better place,” the singer expressed. Alex added, “Thanks class of 2020 for letting us share this day with you.”