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Emily Ratajkowski gives inspirational speech to 2023 Hunter College graduates

During the 2023 commencement, students got a surprise pep talk about their futures from the actress/ model.

Emily Ratajkowski gives inspirational speech to 2023 Hunter College graduates

Emily Ratajkowski is definitely top of her class when it comes to giving speeches.

On January 19, the 31-year-old star took Hunter College’s stage by storm when she surprised the graduating class of 2023 with a very heartfelt and personal speech congratulating them on their academic journeys that brought them to this point in their lives.

“It’s hard to celebrate myself, not as an imposter in a body, but as a soul deserving of joy,” Emily said to the crowd. “And I bet a few people here feel the same way. So, if you can’t celebrate yourself, maybe do it for others,”

“I never made it to my own college graduation. I dropped out in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse, choosing the financial security I hoped modeling would bring over what I really wanted to do, which was to learn and to make things,” Ratajkowski said.

Modeling paid more than what my friends made working service industry jobs and I was terrified of being saddled with student loan debt,” She went on to explain “I also knew that my window for this opportunity was limited - everyone reminded me that women have an expiration date. So I gave up on my education and instead focused on work.”

The “Gone Girl” actress then prompted the graduate to find moments they’re proud of themselves for: “Find the moments to pause, to reflect on where you are and how far you’ve come. It’s easy to stand up here and say that. And I’ll tell you what’s harder - practicing it myself.

Ratajkowski humbled by graduating classes’ experiences

“I learned that this graduating class is especially remarkable. That there are particular challenges and circumstances unique to all of you.”

Emily continued her praise by letting the students know she had heard of their struggles and hardships “She (the dean) told me about the students who worked several jobs while getting degrees, battling illnesses, the people who are first in their families to graduate from college, and those who those who had to learn English as a second language.

‘I heard about the students who are mothers, who took time away from their education, and somehow found courage and ability to return to school as an older person.

She ended her speech by letting the class of 2023 know, ‘I am so humbled and honored to stand before you all today.’


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