Assistant Prof. Christine Vandenhouten of the Professional Program in Nursing was honored May 27 as the 2012 Luxemburg-Casco High School alumna of the year. Vandenhouten was recognized for her passion and excellence in nursing education, her personal academic journey and her service to the community, officials said. The 1982 LCHS grad addressed students at commencement. Here are some highlights of her speech:
“Today we celebrate education and the opportunities that education affords.
I want to share a have a few pieces of advice with you today.
1. To quote Longfellow – ‘Success is doing what you can do well … and doing well whatever you can do.’ I am here to tell you success takes on many forms. I predict that many of the jobs that will exist in 2020 do not exist today. Don’t be afraid to dream big — but you must believe in yourself. Take risks now because as you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible. In fact, some would say, ‘if you don’t fail, you aren’t even trying.’ To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.
2. You can’t do it alone. Be open to collaboration and surround yourself with good people who inspire you. … Find a mentor. No one is here today because they did it on their own. Someone gave you strength, helped you get here. That should make you feel less alone, less scary. During tough times, you realize how good it feels to be part of a group. Besides, it is more fun to do things with others.
3. Be a responsible citizen. Get involved … in your school, workplace and community.
4. Look at people when you talk to them; put your cell phones down when talking. … The answer to a lot of life’s questions is often in someone else’s face.
And my final thought — be nice to your parents. Take your parents’ calls, texts, etc. Remember, while you enter this next phase of your life, you do not go alone.”