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從移民之路到成功之路

黃唯大律師在林肯西高中畢業典禮作精彩演講

 

     作爲2013屆林肯西高中畢業典禮的主講嘉賓,黃唯大律師在塞弗倫斯禮堂做的第一件事就是側過身體站在畢業生和來賓聽衆的中間。她解釋説,這是因爲她不希望背對着畢業生。從這件小事我們就可以知道我們面對的是一位不平凡的女性。那些熟悉黃唯大律師的人都瞭解她杰出的過去:她從事移民律師行業已經有35年,創立了黃唯律師事務所;她被同行提名爲“杰出律師”和“超級律師”;並被擁有中國最好的法律學院的中國人民大學聘爲榮譽敎授。


     黃唯大律師的職業成功始于她作爲新移民來到美國面臨的個人挑戰。她的職業道德,創業精神及足智多謀與她對來到美國需要幫助的移民強烈的同情心結合在了一起。事實上,黃唯大律師還寫了一本受到高度評價的書——《移民之路》。黃唯大律師不知疲倦地工作,幫助新來的移民成爲美國公民。爲美國多元化做貢獻也是黃唯大律師在林肯西高中的畢業典禮上演講的原因。林肯西高中的國際學院里,學生來自超過41個國家,説着超過25種不同的語言。這是在克里夫蘭大都會學區最多樣化的學院。這個學院在艾琳·哈維爾博士的帶領下,提供了豐富的雙語,多元文化敎育,語言熟悉和發展項目。林肯西每年秋天都會舉行遊行,伴以分享民族食物,音樂,舞蹈等活動來慶祝國際多元化的傳統。因此,林肯西經常被稱爲小聯合國。
     典禮中,老師和同學們都受到即將分離的悲傷情緒的感染。面紙被發給每一個進入禮堂的家庭和老師。嚴肅的氣氛偶爾會被家人或老師在宣讀畢業生名字時的歡呼聲打破。老師們和管理人員們與聽衆們分享着秘密的有趣的故事。比如,癌症幸存者肯德拉.柯尼幾乎沒能畢業,她的健康,家庭和經濟狀况幾乎使她輟學。在老師和管理人員的幫助下,她堅持下來並最終象個王者一樣站在了台上。當她結束講話後,她給了她的正在流淚的語言敎練和老師蓋爾女士一個飛吻。吿別演講代表黃樂談到了他父親在南越被關押,以及他們一家隨後在2008年從一個難民營移民到美國的故事。兩年前,黃樂的大姐作爲優秀生從林肯西畢業。當他在那個晩上看到他姐姐站在台上時,他就發誓有一天他要成爲吿別演講代表。而那一天已經到來。黃樂記起他剛到學校時,只能講一點英語,他感謝他的科學老師安吉拉.布爾樂。她從見到他起一直帶領他幫助他直到畢業。沙辛.里德的媽媽在兒子走到台前領取畢業證書時,全神關注地看着聾啞翻譯,不願錯過每一句話。學生們有的坐着輪椅,有的依靠步行器,有的需要幫助才能拿住畢業證書,但是他們都在那里,並且每個人都在眼淚中綻放着微笑。是的,一扇門合上了,但是更多的門打開了。未來正在呼喚着這些剛剛成年的孩子。
      黃唯大律師在向林肯西2013屆畢業生致辭的時候,心里充滿期望和祝福。面對他們,黃唯大律師就像面對自己的孩子一樣,給了他們非常實用的建議。黃唯大律師稱自己爲“一個有口音的上年紀的婦人”,看起來可能和今天的年輕人脫節,但而後她顯露出她是一個充滿活力,激勵人心的演説家。她説,成功的第一條法則就是知道你在生活中需要什么。你需要知道,生活充滿不同的通道,選擇並在這些通道中航行是實現目標的關鍵。每一年,都寫下你的目標並把它放在盒子里,每一年都審查你的目標,修改它並達到它。記住“三”的法則,在三分鐘內,你的生活會改變,更好或更糟。每三個小時,三天,三個月,三年你都需要檢查你的決定是否正確。
    黃唯大律師的忠吿充滿了智慧的結晶:將每分錢存起來,記住如果你一小時掙六美元,不要花六美元買一杯咖啡;不要吃的太多;當你的老闆訓斥你的時候,記住有一天你也要成爲老闆,不要與老闆對吵;學會從錯誤中吸取敎訓;不要做會讓你羞于吿訴媽媽的事;知道你的價値;每天寫日記;勤讀,勤寫,勤説;每天看報紙;每個月讀一本書;充實你的大腦;每天早起工作;不要喝醉,不要做愚蠢的事。男朋友和女朋友總會有的;但是你生命中最重要的東西是:你的大腦,你的心和你的勇氣及膽量。當你做的事是正確的,你的膽量會吿訴你。
     當黃唯大律師結束她的演講時,大家發自內心地起立鼓掌。她給了她的聽衆無價的忠吿和智慧。當然,她對這個社區的貢獻遠沒有結束。黃唯大律師給了每個畢業生一個會説話的玩具老虎,作爲挑戰和榮耀的標誌。黃唯大律師知道,老虎就象生活本身,充滿了優雅,神秘,兇險,以及在心中,頭腦和膽量中對獲得成功強烈的願望。

The first thing Margaret Wong did as guest speaker at Lincoln-West’s 2013 High School graduation at Severance Hall was to place herself in profile between the graduates and the audience. As she did so, she explained that she did not want to turn her back to the graduates. That is when we knew we were in the presence of an extraordinary woman. Those who are familiar with Ms. Wong know her record of excellence: 35 five years of practice as an immigration attorney; founder of Margaret Wong and Associates; named a “Leading Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer” by her peers; and named the Honor Professor of People University of China, which has the number one law school in China.
      Ms. Wong’s professional successes grew from her personal challenges as an immigrant to America. Her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and resourceful nature combine with her great compassion for people in need-especially immigrants to America. In fact, Ms. Wong has written a highly praised book on immigration entitled The Immigrant’s Way. Ms. Wong works tirelessly to help turn Newcomers into Americans. That dedication to diversity is why Ms. Wong spoke at Lincoln-West’s High School graduation. Students attending Lincoln-West’s International Studies Academy comprise more than 41 nationalities and speak more than 25 different languages. It is the most diverse academy in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, perhaps even in the state of Ohio. The academy, led by Dr. Irene Javier, offers a rich bilingual, multicultural, language acquisition and development program. Lincoln-West celebrates its international heritage every fall with a parade of flags, ethnic food, music, and dancing. For this reason, Lincoln-West is often referred to as a Little United Nations.
Both students and teachers felt the strain of leave-taking. Kleenex was passed out as families and instructors entered the auditorium. The solemn air of graduation was threaded with breaches of protocol as families and even teachers cheered for their students by name. The teachers and the administrators were privy to many human interest stories the audience did not know. For example, senior Kendra Coyne, a cancer survivor, almost didn’t make it to graduation. Struggles with health, finances, and family almost made her drop out of high school. With the help of teachers and administrators, Kendra persevered and stood on that stage with regal diction and poise. When she was finished speaking, she blew her weeping speech coach and teacher, Ms. Gale, a kiss. Valedictorian Hung Le told of his father’s imprisonment in South Viet Nam and his family’s subsequent immigration to the U.S. from a refugee camp in 2008. Two years ago, Le’s oldest sister graduated from Lincoln-West with honors. As Le watched her on stage that night, he vowed to be valedictorian someday. That someday was here. Le remembered coming to high school with very little mastery of English; he thanked his science teacher Angela Bruehler for meeting him where he was and taking him all the way to graduation. Shasheen Reed’s mother avidly watched the deaf interpreter to hear every word as her son walked the stage to receive his diploma. There were students in wheel chairs, students in walkers, and students who needed a helping hand to grasp that diploma, but they were there. And, everyone present managed to smile through their tears. Yes; one door was closing, but many more were opening. The future was calling these children into adulthood.
     It was with this spirit in mind that Ms. Wong addressed Lincoln-West’s graduating class of 2013. Facing them; treating them like members of her own family, Ms. Wong dispensed real-world advice to the young people in front of her. Ms. Wong referred to herself as “an older woman with an accent” who might look out of touch with today’s youth; then she proceeded to reveal herself as a dynamic motivational speaker. She said the first general rule of success is to know what you want from life. Realize that life is filled with passages; navigating these passages is crucial to achieving goals. Once a year, write your goals out and put them in a box. Review these goals every year revising them to achieve them. Remember the Rule of Three. In three minutes, your life can change for good or for bad. Review your decisions every three hours, every three days, every three months, and every three years.
     Ms. Wong’s real-world advice included pearls of wisdom: save every penny in the bank; remember if you make six dollars an hour, it is not wise to spend six dollars on one coffee; look for bargains; don’t eat too much; when your boss yells at you, remember someday you want to be the boss; don’t yell back; learn from your mistakes; don’t do anything you’d be ashamed to tell your mother you did; value who you are; write a daily journal; read; write; speak. Read the newspaper every day. Read a book a month. Feed your brain. Get up early and go to work every day. Don’t get drunk and don’t do stupid stuff. Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go; but, the three most important components of life are your brain, your heart, and your gut. When you do what is right you will know it in your gut.
      When Ms. Wong finished her speech, she was treated to a heartfelt standing ovation. She had given her audience priceless advice and poignant wisdom. Still, she wasn’t done giving to this community. As a symbol of the challenges and glories ahead of them, Ms. Wong gifted each graduate with a talking toy tiger. Ms. Wong knows that the tigers are much like life itself: full of grace, mystery, fierceness, and the overwhelming desire to achieve that lives in the heart, the brain, and the gut.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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