Who better to offer advice to young people born at the start of the new century than a leader of a global video game company?
Carla Mauro, the vice-president of finance for Nintendo of America, born and raised in Trail, captured the attention of the 165 JL Crowe graduates Friday night with her talk on creating your own opportunities for success.
“When we know what we care about, know our strengths and weaknesses, then we can create opportunities for ourselves,” Mauro told the crowd of Millennials- youth who don’t remember a world without the Internet or smart phones or the war on terror.
“Know yourself; build relationships with others; and continue to learn and grow,” she advised the graduates. She noted that the company she now helps lead, Nintendo of America, started out a virtual unknown in North America when she joined it in 1990; today, through critical self-examination and openness to self-improvement, it has become a global leader in gaming.
“Creating opportunities is a powerful mindset,” she said. “By taking action, you move to the realization of your goals.”
Finally, she advised, “Carry a high heart; look to the sky to see for yourself how much you can shine.”
The ceremonies Friday night, in the hot and muggy Trail Memorial Centre, put on display the city’s best and brightest students- and how much the community supports them as they enter their next stage in life. Ninety graduates received more than $150,000 in scholarships, donated by 102 communities groups from Teck to the Kiwanis Club to the Rossland Nearly Players.
Graham Deane spoke for the student body, thanking the parents and staff for giving the class of 2017 the opportunity to learn and grow. And he also offered advice to his classmates on seizing opportunity.
“Look at the future without fear,” he said in his valedictorian speech. “Focus on the present to look back without regret. Make the most of opportunities given, and don’t be afraid to recognize your accomplishments.
“Each of us deserves to feel proud,” he said.
With all graduations, it is a time of celebration, but also wistful goodbyes. This was JL Crowe Principal David DeRosa’s last graduation, as he plans to retire this year.