Harvard grad’s commencement speech lauds education, lifts spirits and goes viral

Donovan Livingston, a master’s of education graduate at Harvard University, used spoken-word poetry to express his passion for teaching and learning in this powerful commencement address at Harvard.

WEAC President-Elect Ron Martin said, “Wow! I loved Donovan’s speech and I was definitely moved to tears by his speech. If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to!”

Livingston concluded by expressing his passion for unleashing students’ potential through education:

“At the core, none of us were meant to be common.
We were born to be comets,
Darting across space and time —
Leaving our mark as we crash into everything.
A crater is a reminder that something amazing happened here —
An indelible impact that shook up the world.
Are we not astronomers — looking for the next shooting star?
I teach in hopes of turning content, into rocket ships —
Tribulations into telescopes,
So a child can see their potential from right where they stand.

“Education is no equalizer —
Rather, it is the sleep that precedes the American Dream.
So wake up — wake up! Lift your voices
Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky.
Wake up every child so they know of their celestial potential.
I’ve been a Black hole in the classroom for far too long;
Absorbing everything, without allowing my light escape.
But those days are done. I belong among the stars.
And so do you. And so do they.
Together, we can inspire galaxies of greatness
For generations to come.
No, sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning.
Lift off.”