Congratulations to the Green Dot Class of 2015! As our students walk graduation stages across Los Angeles and Memphis, many the first in their families to do so, we reflect on the importance of the occasion in their lives. We are incredibly proud of every one of them: their hard work and dedication, and that of their teachers, are an inspiration to us all.
Over the years, many have offered their guidance and advice to recent graduates. We’ve collected some of our favorites below, each echoing our own sentiment that successful graduation isn’t the end of education, but the beginning of a life of exploration and self-discovery.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO
“Graduates, your values matter. They are your North Star. And work takes on new meaning when you feel you are pointed in the right direction. Otherwise, it’s just a job, and life is too short for that. We need the best and brightest of your generation to lead in government and in business.
In the science and in the arts. In journalism and in academia. There is honor in all of these pursuits. And there is opportunity to do work that is infused with moral purpose. You don’t have to choose between doing good and doing well. It’s a false choice, today more than ever.
Your challenge is to find work that pays the rent, puts food on the table, and lets you do what is right and good and just. So find your North Star. Let it guide you in life, and work, and in your life’s work” Tim Cook, CEO Apple
Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate
“To overcome poverty and the flaws of the economic crisis in our society, we need to envision our social life. We have to free our mind, imagine what has never happened before and write social fiction. We need to imagine things to make them happen. If you don’t imagine, it will never happen.” Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate
Ellen Ochoa, NASA Astronaut
“I tell students that the opportunities I had were a result of having a good educational background. Education is what allows you to stand out.” Ellen Ochoa, NASA Astronaut
Michelle Obama, First Lady
“Graduates… I want you all to stay true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves. I want you to ask those basic questions: Who do you want to be? What inspires you? How do you want to give back? And then I want you to take a deep breath and trust yourselves to chart your own course and make your mark on the world.” Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America