My name is Molaven Duarte. I am a graduate of Bronx Community College (BCC) of the City University of New York (CUNY) and have a Liberal Arts, Education Option Degree. I graduated as the Valedictorian of the BCC 2012 class with a 4.0 GPA and I now am looking for opportunities teaching abroad, as well as further educational opportunities. I was a member of the XAE (Chi Alpha Epsilon) Club, chairperson of the Event Planning Committee and president of the same. I was also president of the XAE National Honor Society, and am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Some of my numerous goals in life are: to attain scholarships that will allow me to study within the United States as well as abroad, and to earn a Doctorate (PHD).
This (2013) summer, I worked for ACLE in Italy where I taught English in summer camps, and what a beautiful summer it was!
Learn more about me! In this eportfolio, you will find several assignments I produced for different courses. Enjoy the page!
Watch or read my Valedictorian speech! To get right to the speech, skip to 2 minutes and 47 seconds. Otherwise, watch my entrance, the college president introduce me, my speech, and the other stuff!!
(I'd watch it all if I were you)
My Valedictorian Speech
Trustee Frida Foster, Chancellor Goldstein, President Borrotte-Joseph, Honorable David Dinkens, other distinguished guests, family, friends --- and my fellow graduates -- good morning.
It is with a great sense of pride that I stand before you this morning as the valedictorian of the Bronx Community College Class of 2012.
First, let me offer my thanks to the Higher Power who makes ALL our successes possible.
All of us, fellow graduates, have arrived here today having triumphed over significant obstacles. For most of us, this road has not been easy. Goodness knows I've had my own challenges – mostly of my own doing.
Indeed, I first found it really ironic when informed that I’d be representing my class as its valedictorian. Valedictorians are usually excellent students from the get go—studious, determined, driven to excel. That was hardly me. In fact, I DETESTED school. I was never comfortable with submitting to the rules and regulations of the school day. I couldn't survive a normal high school setting and at sixteen transferred to a vocational school. And I couldn't even complete THAT curriculum. For the next years I worked, partied… mostly partied…. My life wasn't going well… because it wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t receive my GED until SIX years after leaving high school. Three years later, as I continued to get it together, I was accepted into the College Discovery Program here at BCC.
…And withdrew after the first day. This time, the adversity was not of my own doing: That first day of school my mother had to undergo emergency brain surgery due to 2 aneurysms, one which had ruptured. The staff at the College Discovery Program was amazing… they made sure I got back here and flourished. My mother—I’m delighted to tell you – is doing well and out there in a seat among you enjoying this day along with us.
So here’s what I’ve learned.
One. “It’s not easy,” is no excuse. I don’t like imposed rules? Well, too bad. School requires them. Work requires them. So does life. You want to succeed? Deal with it. I recall, by the way, my fourth grade teacher Mr. Pincay, here with us this morning, who sent me to second grade for a few days, to make sure I learned this important lesson.
Second. You can’t get by on charm alone. Back in high School, my teacher Mr. Andretti, who’s been a rock of support all these years – and also out there among you today—flunked me. I was shocked. I thought I was exuberant enough, energetic enough, clever enough … but I didn’t do the work. I eventually learned THE LESSON, and in college never received less than an A in any class. And that LESSON? You want to succeed? Do the work.
And finally I learned that you can’t do it alone. When you meet those rules and expectations, AND you do the hard work, you still sometimes need to lean on those around you for support. I’ve been lucky in that regard. My mom and my sister Carmen have always stood by, never lowering the standards of what they thought I could accomplish. In turn, it’s enormously gratifying to serve as a role model to others in my family, especially my nephew and niece, Joahn and Emily.
The outstanding administration and fabulous faculty here at BCC have been a constant source of strength and mentoring. So, here goes my Grammys thank you list. My deepest gratitude to Professors Bellabe, Sullivan, Powers, Lyons, Dr. Phillip, Yvonne Erazo, and so many others from whom I’ve learned so much but don’t have the time to mention here--- you all know how much you mean to me. Thank you all. I want to give a special shout out to BCC’s extraordinary College Discovery Program – it’s a special honor to be the first valedictorian in its 46 year history. But this wonderful support hasn’t ALL been a matter of good luck. I give MYSELF credit for choosing terrific friends, hi Mae – and the man in my life, sweet Paul, who laughs at my paltry jokes (he tries anyway), wipes away the tears, and reminds me to carry on.
That’s MY story. EVERY ONE OF US graduates has his or her own. All of us are role models to our families. And all of us have our own list of people who deserve our deepest appreciation. But EVERYONE’S list highlights our gratitude to BCC – for providing us with a first-rate education and the inspiration to do even more.
And we all will. Some of us will be undertaking new jobs and careers. Many of us will be continuing on in four-year colleges. I’ll be off trotting the globe teaching English before returning to the States to pursue my Ph.D. in education. So world, get ready ‘cause here we come, the BCC graduating class of 2012!
That’s our message to the world. But here’s a final one to US graduates. As we continue to reach new goals, we need to remember not to forget – that a successful life is also about joy. Today is certainly a day to enjoy and celebrate. And let’s heed too -- this reminder from Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you DIDN’T do than by ones you DID do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.”
We graduates shall do just that..
Thank you all. And Congratulations to us!!!