Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson surprised a graduating high school student who answered his call for leadership.
On Monday, Johnson read a letter sent to him by Lorraine Angelakos, asking that the actor speak to her graduating class at Pompano Beach High School in Florida.
Referencing his video last week where he asked, “Where are you?”, Johnson said he “was speaking to leadership.”
“Where is that leader? Where is our leader who would step up to our country at this time, when our country is on its knees?” Johnson said. “I received a letter that gave me my answer.”
“Like you, I believe the same: As one door closes, another one opens,” Johnson said as he read Angelakos’ letter. “You just have to have the drive and willpower to go through that next door and give it your all.”
“When I received this letter, it knocked me off my feet. It’s not what Lorraine is saying it’s how she’s saying it.”
Part of the letter read, “Some students will be making their way to college and some won’t, some will be hitting the workforce. All of us have dreams and aspirations. I consider you an inspiration to our youth, to help remind us that hard work, positivity and perseverance will pay off no matter how hard the road might seem.”
“Most commencement speakers and celebrities are sought for after you complete college, but I think the time is now in your senior year when some students won’t have that luxury to attend college. With the help of someone like you, you can inspire them. They deserve it now with you as their inspiration.”
Taking a pause from reading, Johnson added, “I would have done this for free. I would’ve travelled around the world twice and back just to come and speak to you guys during graduation. I would’ve been there.”
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To all the high school graduates of 2020, Truth is, you’re the generation that will have the answers to the questions, we – as adults – are having a challenging time finding the answers to. My/our accountability to your generation is helping create the pathway to normalizing equality and showing that being compassionate, tough, empathetic, strong and kind are never mutually exclusive. And your generation will ensure that equality for all, through empathy and respect will remain forever. Thank you, Pompano Beach High School Senior Class President and Valedictorian, Lorraine Angelakos for this incredibly moving letter that resonated with me deeply. Remember, to put your money where your heart is and always let your heart, mana and instinct be your guiding North Star. We must become the leaders we’re looking for. And I can’t wait to see the leaders that you and all your fellow high school graduates become. Congrats, enjoy your summer, and keep being THE hardest workers in the room✊🏾🎓 DJ aka Mr. 2% #normalizeequality
“But here’s the thing that sealed the deal,” he said, then reading the letter again- “As part of a good faith request, I have enclosed seven bucks as a downpayment for your services.”
The $7 enclosed is a symbol of the amount of money Johnson had to his name when he first started his career.
“Lorraine, I asked a question a few weeks ago: I said where are you? And now I have my answer. You’re right here. Here you are,” he said. “Here you are.”
Johnson then gave a bit of a commencement speech, “Lorraine, you and your fellow graduates … you guys are our empathetic compassionate leaders who are going to lead us, who are going to be the ones responsible that we as adults are having a little challenging time right now answering. You guys are the ones who are going to normalize equality. We’re going to build a pathway, that’s my accountability, myself and others we’re going to build that pathway. You guys are going to make sure it happens and that it stays that way forever.”
“Always put your money where your heart is. Your heart, your mana and your instinct will always be your North Star,” he said, noting that he will be investing the money in Angelakos’ name.
“We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for,” he concluded. “To all the graduates of 2020, congratulations, thank you for being our leaders. We got this.”