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Video Transcript – Meet Nardos Ashenafi, Boise State University 2019 Spring Commencement Speaker

Video Transcript

(Title: Spring Commencement 2019, Student Speaker Nardos Ayele Ashenafi)

[Nardos Ashenafi, mechanical engineering major]: There’re not a lot of mechanical engineers in Ethiopia. I became a mechanical engineer because around some time in my high school I realized I don’t want to be a person who takes care of a problem after it has happened, but one who prevents it from happening. I’ve had a lot of friends who’ve had the same opportunities as me, to take the SATs, to apply to universities, but they stayed back and they didn’t come with me. And they didn’t make a bad decision necessarily, they actually went to really good universities back home. But don’t be scared to try something that other people call ridiculous. Now what I had planned was called ridiculous. Mechanical engineering is not the best job back home because civil engineering is actually really respected and doctors are always respected.

But I had an idea, which was I want to improve peoples’ lives. And it was a young girl’s plan so people would go, “You’re young, you’ll, you know, that dream will fade away.” No. I’m not going to make it fade away because I am actually going to take that plan, and I’m going to take it to a place that’s going to make it happen for me, and the fact that I’m here reminds me that this is the reason why I came all this way. So, push yourself and take the risk. It’s actually very much worth it when it pays off.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten is from my mother. She says, “Learn as much as you can while you can,” and when she says learn she means actually go to school and get as much education. So she asked me, “What’s your plan after graduation?” And I told her, “You know, I might do a Master’s,” and she’s like, “You know, if you could do Ph.D, go for it too.” And she didn’t mean it in a pushy way, but she didn’t get the chance to learn as much as she could when she was young. So she teached us every time, she says “Learn! You’re young, you can conceive information really quick and interpret and innovate, so do it now!”

Class of 2019, I would like to say congratulations for making it to this eventful day. Please push forward and never stop to make your dreams come true. It’s very important what you do from now on to determine the rest of your life.