Vice President Kamala Harris Has a Message for 2021 Graduates

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Vice President Kamala Harris had a special sendoff for some high school seniors graduating this year, offering words of wisdom for the outgoing class.

On Sunday, the California native appeared at CNN's Graduation 2021 event and delivered a keynote speech via video conference. She was given the opportunity to speak specifically with "four student leaders from across the US" and complimented them on their perseverance throughout the last year, noting their resilience amid a global pandemic.

"I couldn't be more proud of you guys. The things that you all have accomplished, you give me such inspiration," she said. "You know exactly what it took to get here. Right in the middle of your junior year, everything seemed to stop... For more than a year, you kept going to class, even if it was online. You kept studying, you kept striving, and you made it to this day."  

The 56-year-old offered words of advice she gleaned from her mother, telling the students: "[My mother] said, 'You know Kamala, you may be the first to be many things, but make sure you're not the last."

"Sometimes, you're going to be in a room, and you're going to feel like the only one like you in that room, the only one that looks like you or the only one who's had your life experience but what I want you four to remember — and you have to hear me on this — we will all be in that room with you, so don't you ever feel alone. We are all in that room with you, applauding you on," she continued.

The speech also featured Harris imploring the students to "know that you have what it takes to get through pretty much anything" and realize that they "do not have to get through anything alone."

"You are not alone. We are all in this together. When we look out for one another, everybody is better off," she told them.

Tags: Groundbreaking Women, Pop Culture

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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