Today was a joyous occasion as we celebrated the graduation of 11 women from the Magdalene program. As we sort through pictures, finding the best ones to sum up the feeling of the day, we want to share some words of wisdom that 2010 Magdalene Graduate Lashonda Williamson read to the community during the ceremony.
Many believe life is a journeyfor which we seek answers,formulate ideas,have the luxury to dream of its ultimate gifts.However, as humans, our search is likean archaeological discoverythat has continuous unsolved questionsand only clues that may beour key element to our purpose.Today, I am not here to unsolve a riddleor humor you with brilliant metaphors,but to tell you during my search,I discovered me!Speaking to you today is a blessing,in that I know if anyone could bless mewith any token of love in this audience,it would be the gift of empathy.Addiction consumed mefor many lonely nights and melancholy days.I felt angry, lost and wearyat life’s despairing turntables.When you hit the bottom of depression and fear,prosperity is like the shining chandelierhanging in a beautiful room.I wanted LIFE again.The ability to smile,love and by loved by my precious friends and family.When I reached Magdalene, it was likeI was a jewelready to be polished and shine again.Superior thinking and helpful mentoringallowed me to see what was important again:LIFE!Yes! I say to myself, “I matter. Shon matters.”And I have a purpose!I have swam the ocean of despair,climbed that mountain of deceitand skied that slope of a false utopia.My utopia is this place oflove,respect,guidanceand hard work.So, today, I don’t want you to walk awayfrom this commencement as if it wereof ordinary nature,because being out there alone as an addictis far from an average person’s natural instinct.NO! It is not naturalto go through that obstacle in one’s life.But, what separates todayfrom any other graduate’s day,is that not only do I receivea certificate of recognition,but I also receive me.And that’s the ultimate giftI’ve searched for and found!Thank you & God bless.