White House press secretary gives commencement speech for Hempstead HS graduates
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave the commencement speech in a pre-recorded video to the Hempstead High School class of 2022.
Jean-Pierre, a Hempstead native, encouraged the graduates to dream big.
"You have so much to be proud of and because of where you came from, not in spite of it, you are going to go on to do great things, because you know how to keep going when it gets tough," Jean-Pierre says.
Jean-Pierre is an alumna of the Hempstead Union Free School District. She graduated from what is now called Joseph A. McNeil Elementary School.
She even shared further wisdom with valedictorian Daniella Marroquin in a surprise phone call prior to graduation.
"To never lose those ideological traits that youth tend to have and to make friends," Marroquin says.
Marroquin says the call was inspiration and is not going to be taken for granted.
Jean-Pierre's mother and brother honored guests at the graduation and reflected on her far their daughter and sister has come since she was a Hempstead grade school student.
Many of the graduates for the class of 2022 are first generation Americans and the first in their families to head to college. They say they are eager to build on the lessons learned in Hempstead to make their mark on the world.