Vice Mayor Felicia M Brunson

Someone once said that change is inevitable – except from a vending machine. As you stand on the brink of moving into life beyond high school or college, change will be inevitable! It is inevitable and indeed gratifying to see that you are matured and have become skills proficient ready to tackle and further your life-long education. It is inevitable that structures and processes and relationships will change in your day-to-day lives. It is inevitable that you will face new challenges and it is inevitable that things may seem a little different in the year ahead. Yes, life is definitely going to become a little ‘shaken up and stirred’.

I’m sure you will have some apprehension and fear for the future while acknowledging that you are going to miss some of your old friends and classmates. Today you also face the bittersweet combination of nostalgia and excitement that comes when you turn off one road in your life and onto another.

The difference this time is that instead of simply turning onto the road, you are finally merging onto the highway. For some of you, this is the end of our official scholastic journey. While some of you will further your educational development in college or graduate school.

Today also marks a turning point for many of you that we can’t ignore: you are headed out there into the real world. Should you be nervous? Not after decades of experience in school. But a little apprehension is understandable.

What does the future have in store for you? If you knew that, the future wouldn’t be any fun. But you can only hope that the hard work you have put in during your high school or college years and the relationships you have formed have helped shaped you into capable adults, people who are ready to face the challenges ahead with a healthy attitude and just a little bit of irreverence in the face of obstacles. The rest of your life, you will be adults who have been given every opportunity to succeed. It’s now time to capitalize on that opportunity.

You are now joining the ranks of educated individuals of the present and the past, becoming another unique patch in the large quilt of those who have given up time and effort to become further educated than a portion of their peers so that they may contribute greatly to academia and the world at large for years to come. That giant quilt has been growing upon itself for decades, centuries, and even eons before our modern higher institution system was in place because there have always been those who have the desire to learn more, to know more, and to think more than traditional and basic education allowed them.

You are now a part of that quilt, that large mosaic of different people from different times and different places, which covers not only our land but other nations around the world with knowledge and light. You are a piece of the fabric which holds human society together in its endeavors to progress the universal body of information and truth. You are now in league with the other professionals who gave up their own time, travail, and treasury to be as you are.

This achievement of graduating today puts you in a fellowship, a family of sorts, with the others who did as you and were neither happy with the limits of their personal education nor pleased with the limited opportunities their basic training allotted them. You are now a member of the family of the higher educated.

Whether you use your diploma or degree to enter the professional realm or to continue your education to even greater heights, you are now respected and linked to others who possess a yearning to be life-long learners. You have worked tirelessly to gain this honor and privilege. Therefore, enjoy it. Respect the others of your educated family as your own brothers and sisters, use your knowledge to encourage and help those who chose to not enter an institute of higher education, and enjoy the position in which your esteemed diploma or degree now places you. No matter where you go or what you do, there are challenges ahead of you. What I’m asking from each of you, and from myself, is to meet those challenges straight on with your head held high and your heart wide open. It’s not enough to simply try to get by in life. That doesn’t move the world forward. You must try to excel in everything you do; strive for excellence in every task, large or small.

Although it may not be easy to see, every accomplishment you achieve is added to the world’s accomplishments. Your individual successes benefit society as a whole because when you succeed, you lighten the burden on your fellow man. When you succeed, you are in a position to give rather than take. Imagine if every individual lived up to his or her own potential. Think about how amazing that would be, and how much better off the world would be. Now imagine if just half of those individuals lived up to their potential. The world would still be an awesome place. If even 1/4 of those individuals worked to make their lives successful, they could still make some amazing contributions to society.

Well, we may not have the power to inspire the entire world to strive for success, but we do have the power to try to achieve it for ourselves.

My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to do all that you can do to reach your full potential educationally and professionally. If each of you members of the Graduate class of 2014 is able to do that, just imagine the effect that would have. The future is truly in your hands, so make the most of it.

Congratulations West Park Graduates! and Happy Father’s Day to all Dads!

This month we also celebrate our fathers. There are often situations and times, when children forget to hug their dad, kiss and tell him that they love him like they do to their mothers. Most of us would agree that we assume our father to be the provider for the family. From the time, when we worship our beloved pops for all that he knew and all that he could, we move on to become a rebellious teenager, when we make it a point to argue about everythappy-fathers-day-sail-boathing and anything that he advises to us.

A father plays a very special role in the life of his children. He is the protector, a caretaker, the financial and moral support and most importantly, the support pillar of their life. He would not hesitate to sacrifice his desires in order to fulfill the wishes of his family. He dedicates a significant period of his life in nurturing his kids, unless they become self-sufficient in all respects. When he is working, he would burden himself with all his family’s responsibilities and after retirement from work, he would ensure that he is no more a burden for his grown up kids.

Since there is great significance of a father in everybody’s life, he deserves a day specially dedicated to him. In the life of a man, Father’s Day proves to be one of the most important occasions. On this day, he is made to feel special by his children. They undertake efforts to let him know the important place he holds in their life. At the same time, it is also a significant day for the children, who want to thank their dad for undergoing so many hardships in bringing them up.

Father’s Day salutes every man, who has been bestowed with innumerable responsibilities, right from the day when he becomes a father. It is a day to commemorate fatherhood, which is incomparable. West Park, this Father’s Day, show your Dad that how much you love and respect him and how much you care for him.

Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954) 889-4164 or email

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