view all PLASP BLOG posts
Life is “Far Too Important To Be Taken Seriously,” PLASP CEO Tells Sheridan Grads
Commencement remarks focus on the importance of personal values
Quoting a favourite philosopher, Winnie the Pooh, PLASP CEO Lynn Hiebert told over 500 graduating students from the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan College that their lives are “far too important to be taken seriously,” to spend in dull work that fails to fill their lives with value, meaning and joy.
This was a main theme of Lynn’s message to the graduates on June 12th as their commencement speaker. She also spoke to them about being true to their personal values in their career and life choices—about “consciously making your choices and decisions while being true to your own value system.” At the same time, she encouraged the grads to continue to “ignite the third factor”—to continue to grow and develop as individuals.
“I felt very honored and humbled to be asked to deliver the commencement address at Sheridan,” Lynn said in the days following the graduation. “As a former educator, I’ve spoken at many graduations, but this was the first time I’ve been the guest speaker for a college graduation.”
Lynn described how thrilling it was to see the happiness of the students and the pride on the faces of the families and friends who accompanied them. “There’s something very special about graduation, no matter what age or grade you’re in,” Lynn said.
During her own speech, Lynn reflected on her career and how she has spent most of it working directly with children. She talked about how she takes every opportunity to get out of the head office to visit with the children in programs. She emphasized to the graduating Early Childhood Educators that they would make a difference in the life of a child.
“My ECE staff wanted you to know that nothing shows a child that they are more valued and respected than giving them your undivided attention, and knowing that nothing matters more in that moment, than what they are talking to you about. You can always see in their faces the impact it makes on them to have those special one-on-one moments with you. Stay positive and true – you never know when you’re making a memory.”
The valedictorian was Jim Daly, a mature student who is known by many of the PLASP children as Jim the Music Man and who has been part of the PLASP enrichment program for many years.
During his valedictory remarks, Jim successfully rallied the audience into a round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. “I’ve never been at convocation where the audience sang together,” Lynn said with a laugh. Lynn ended her address by quoting the 19th century novelist Charles Dickens who said that “a word in earnest is as good as a speech,” to which she wished each and every graduate in the room an earnest, heartfelt “congratulations.” And from the staff and children in our Early Learning and Child Care Centres and School Age Programs who have already been impacted by our Sheridan College Placement Students, we say the same: Congratulations.
PLASP Child Care Services