Carol Bell delivered commencement speech for East-West University

The Chicago Defender’s own Executive Director of Finance, Carol E. Bell, delivered the convocation address for East-West University’s Class of 2011 and imparted “practical approaches” to life for the graduates.

The Chicago Defender’s own Executive Director of Finance, Carol E. Bell, delivered the convocation address for East-West University’s Class of 2011 and imparted “practical approaches” to life for the graduates.

“It is perhaps an understatement for me to say how honored and awestruck I am to be East-West University’s keynote speaker,” Bell told the crowd after acknowledging she follows in the footsteps of the late Mayor Harold Washington, Dr. Margaret Burroughs and John H. Stroger Jr., all former East-West University graduation keynote speakers.

Bell said she was once in the same position as the graduates and had a detailed outline for her career.

“I was going to work for one of the most influential accounting firms worldwide, become a partner in that firm, and a millionaire by the age of 30,” she said, adding the timeline didn’t go according to her plan. Over time, her goals and aspirations changed.

Bell stressed that that may also be the case for some of them but to not stray away from their passions.

She asked students to take three “practical approaches” to life –– exposure, good decisions and finishing what they start.

“Exposure is your window to opportunity in life,” said Bell.

Being exposed to new surroundings can create more opportunities for them and can also open their eyes to the world, she said.

“Your destiny speaks to where you’re going to end up in life. Your decisions are going to get you there,” said Bell.

Decisions are directly correlated to their destinies and urged the students to make sure they stay on track, make the right decisions, so they can end up where they want to go.

Finally, she said the feeling of completion is necessary in building their character.

“Finishing gives you an irrefutable and priceless reputation. People look at you as honorable, dependable and trustworthy. Know yourself, be true to yourself and engage your whole self in everything you do,” she said to a standing ovation.

“Carol gave an inspiring speech filled with many personal keys to success and suggestion to the graduates for living a happy and productive life,” said Michael A. House, president of the Chicago Defender.

Graduation attendees Cassandra Early and Gabriel Chavez echoed House’s sentiments.

“I thought it was an excellent message. She gave the students something to think about,” said Early.

“Her speech was very inspirational,” said Chavez.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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