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Niwa Rahmad Dwitama Commencement Speech, Saint John School BSD By: Niwa Rahmad Dwitama June 8, 2013 Good afternoon everyone, The honourable Principal and Vice Principal, teachers of Saint John School, and of course, the proud parents whose children is going to move forward, and all young friends -‐ the graduates! It is really my pleasure to be giving speech in your very special day of graduation. Few weeks ago, when your teacher Mr. Julius offered me to speak today, I felt so much honored and exciting but at the same it scared things out of me. The reason is while you are graduating today, I was still struggling with my thesis (last assignment) in order to graduate from International relations department in Universitas Indonesia – where I am currently studying. Quite fortunately, my research was approved yesterday and it relieves me and like you all, I hope I can graduate too in near time! So accepting the invitation to speak in this graduation today somehow motivates me to finish my research well and get my deadline on time. So, thank you for this opportunity giving me such determination. *** I think, i`m standing here today because I have bit earlier went through the same stage like you are now entering. Graduating from junior high, going to senior high school. So, let me start by telling you one story of my life. Since the time of elementary school/ SD until the beginning of senior high school/ SMA in Padang, I had been always wondering and wished to be a doctor. There was one time when my mom was pregnant to my younger sister I told her, “ma, aku pengen jadi dokter kandungan!“ “what? Kenapa?“ my mom replied. “hmm, karena pengen bantu mama biar gak sakit pas ngelahirin adek.“ then my mom just nodding. Ever since, my family earnerstly support my wish to be a doctor because no one in our family is actually a doctor, ever. However, who know what the future brought me. When I was in high school, I was honored to be the president of student council (Ketua OSIS) where I learn a lot about leadership, organisation, teamwork, and even about friendship. I
Niwa Rahmad Dwitama helped organising few events in school, going for debate competitions and take part in exchange program to Singapore until I realize that doctor is not really what I want to be in the future. I want to work with people, interact with society and social life. I also like international issues so that I am applying for international relations major in Universitas Indonesia (UI). My story to UI was not as smooth as what I expected. Both my parents rejected my proposal to apply for international relations, because they were still eager to have me applying for medicine school – to be a doctor. “But, that is not my passion,“ I told them. I tried to discussed, even debated and finally just left it off for a while, to calm down my parents` rejection. So, my start in UI is not as cheerful as what my parent might actually expected to be. This really made me persevered to study hard and put some achievements. I have to prove them that this decision was really what I want to do and I can be something with it. Something that is meaningful and can make them proud of me! In 2009, together with few friends I co-‐founded a youth organisation named IFL (Indonesian Future Leaders). IFL is an organisation aiming for youth empowerment and leadership by promoting volunteering activities, discussions to youngster and creating social project all over Jabodetabek, and even Indonesia. Today, we have IFL chapter in Bandung, Bali, Yogya, Sulawesi even Medan. We have helped creating education house in suburb of Bintaro, conducting training for high school students, social project competition and social campaign about youth related issues, such as education and environment. This is how we are making change. Giving something through volunteering doesn`t make you poorer, but it makes you richer; giving you a lot of learning from other perspective or people you never met before. It gives you happiness when you help people and kids in that place; making them happy and smile. With these activities, IFL have achieved and won some social project competitions such as Microsoft innovative student project and Pearson fellowship. We never exptected we can grow stronger with many people supporting us today. But this is our passion, this is what I personally want to do and learn from others. Evenmore, this open opportunities up for me to create achievements and travel to dozens of country to share my experience and meet with other student activist all over the world, from Singapore, France to Unites States. Recently I was also honoured to be the most outstanding student in University of Indonesia 2013. No intention to brag you all about my achievements, but really,
Niwa Rahmad Dwitama this is how I prove it to my parents and family. To prove that, I can make something in what I`m really passionate about. *** In short, let me tell you about three honest lessons about going through the quest of your way and make a difference in your world. 1. To catch. I think high school time is the moment where you can do a lot of things: joining xchool, doing sport and arts, joining volunteering activities and community service and participating in competition. That would be really your time to take part in activities you are happy with and find your passion on it. Feel free to make a dream; what difference you want to make and what kind of person you want to be in the future. And remember: It is not a dream, if it`s not big. Do not let your school use you, but you are to use the school to find yourself and catch your passion and dance with it. 2. To Believe. It doesn`t really matter where you are from, but where you want to go! What you want to achieve. Even if you are from Padang, Jakarta, BSD and Papua, it doesnt make any difference but how big your dreams and efforts to achieve it that differs you from one to another. 3. To Remember Remember that there are those people that always stood behind you every step of the way. Your parents who affectionately support your activities and whole life. Your teachers who help and inspire you during the classes and study. And your friends who will always be there for you. So, prove it to them! Prove that you can make something and craft achievements in your life. Make them proud of you. Of course, you can and you will! So the three important points: to catch your passion, to believe in self, and to remember those people loving you. This graduation is a start for you. Dream big and make it happen! Congratulation!