Hello. I am Tracy Snow. I am the daughter of Marie and the
late Ted Monroe, and the granddaughter of Jennie and the late Jack Irwin and
the late Bill and late Emily Monroe, all of Nenana. I am the wife of Paul
Snow, from McGrath and the mother of Jack and Mattea.
It is such an honor to be the keynote speaker for the Doyon
Foundation Scholarship Award Ceremony. I would first like to congratulate all
students. It wasn’t long ago that I was where you are. I received my
bachelors in Public Relations from the University of Oregon in 1997, and my
masters in Leadership Psychology from the university of Santa Monica in 2005,
so I understand and appreciate the commitment and the sacrifices each of you
are making to pursue your goal of furthering your education. Congratulations
on the investment you are making in yourself and your future.
When I was asked to be the keynote speaker for this
celebration, I wondered what I could offer you as students. Although I know
that each of you will have a unique educational experience, I would like to
offer some words that may assist you along the way. There are three things
that I wish I would have understood better when I was in school. These three
things are: setting intention; creating a support system; and enjoying the
In talking about the power of intention I would like to
start with a medieval tale…
A traveler came to a worksite and saw two men carrying
stones. One man was working listlessly, with a sullen expression on his face,
while the other man was cheerfully singing as he busily carried stone after
stone. “What are you doing?” asked the traveler of the sullen worker. “Laying
stone” was his reply. “What are you doing?” the industrious worker was asked.
“Building a cathedral” was his reply.
This is intention at work. In terms of your educational
endeavors, why not intend to succeed with grace and ease? So often we are told
that school is hard…that we have to work really hard and usually not enjoy
ourselves to succeed in school. Well, if that is your intention, than that is
what you will most likely get. I don’t know about you, but an intention of
grace and ease sounds like it will bring a much more fulfilling experience.
Now just because we set an intention of grace and ease does
not mean that we don’t want to leave our comfort zone now and then. Do you
know in the heating and air conditioning trade, the point on the thermostat
where neither heating nor cooling must operate, around 72 degrees, is called
the “comfort zone”. It is also known as the “dead zone”. I don’t know about
you, but the “dead zone” does not sound like a place I want to hang out.
This leads us to the next area, which is creating a strong
support system. This is vital when we are spending time outside of the “dead”
zone. If you are having challenges or experiencing something new and want
advice or support, where do you go? For most of us, when we are faced with
challenges, we seek support from our friends and family, who often have never
experienced what we are challenged with. Why not set yourself up for success
by surrounding yourself with individuals who have already experienced the
challenges you are or may be faced with? If your goal is to further your
education, why not surround yourself with people who have already done that?
If you want to be wealthy, why not surround yourself with wealthy people who
already know secrets for creating wealth? If your heart’s desire is to be a
happy mother of ten children, wouldn’t it make sense to seek out advice from
other happy mothers?
As students, since one of your goals right now is furthering
your education, I suggest that you take advantage of support offered by the
Doyon Foundation Alumni Association and other similar organizations. One of
the primary goals of the Doyon Foundation Alumni Association is to support
students like you. By getting in touch with the alumni association, you can be
paired with alumni, who understand your challenges and can support you in your
educational goals. This could be a great start to creating your own support
system and setting yourself up for success.
So, once you have set your intention to succeed with grace
and ease, and have established your support system to ensure your success, next
it’s time to focus your attention on enjoying the ride.
Recently I saw a wall-hanging that stated: “Life should not be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a mocha in the other,
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO HOO what a ride!’
Imagine if this was your educational experience. Imagine yourself skidding into graduation, chocolate in one hand,
diploma in the other, screaming “WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!”
So often with our educational endeavors, we are so focused on the end result of receiving our
degree that we neglect to fully embrace and enjoy the process. I recently read
an anonyms writing that said…
First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enoughfor school so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am dying…and suddenly I realize I forgot tolive.
Don’t let this be you. Remember to enjoy the process…even if the process entails experiences like failing math, disagreeing with your
professor’s teaching styles, or studying all night and still having to make it to work in the morning…do whatever you have to do to enjoy and embrace the
I would like to close by: once again congratulating you on
the decision and the investment you’ve made in furthering your education;
encouraging you to set your positive intentions, surround yourself with a
strong support system and enjoy the ride; and acknowledging you in liberating
yourselves and therefore liberating those that will come behind you.
I would like to leave you with this quote from Marianne
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our
deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our
darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a
child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing
enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around
you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the
glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in
everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our
presence automatically liberates others.”
Congratulations and have fun. Thank you.