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Mom's Reflections on Graduation Day 2012

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Kelsey & DonnaToday my oldest daugher, Kelsey, is graduating from college. When I post this we should be in route to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to attend the graduation ceremony of the 2012 Class of New York University. The school has so many students that it needs to be held in a stadium this huge. Of course they can’t call each student by name. Instead they call them by the school.

Kelsey is graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and majored in Drama. Tisch will be having their ceremony on Friday at Radio City Music Hall. So my husband, Kevin, and our other college-aged daughter, Alex, will be hanging out in the city with the graduate for a few days.

We have contributed some to cover the cost of her education. She is one of those students that is part of the country’s huge college student loan debt crisis. NYU is one of the most expensive schools in the country, especially combined with the cost of living in New York City. So while we don’t have any more NYU tuition payments to make, I’m sure we’re going to have to continue to financially support her in some part for a while. How long a while is the big question?

I recently wrote a proposal for a prospective new client. They are a   PR agency that is working with an organization whose objective is to create awareness of how bad the student debt crisis really is. They are interested in running a contest that would invite participants to submit either an essay or video that would describe how they or someone they know has been personally affected by this issue. The goal of course would be to help raise awareness in this country and to let our state and federal representatives know that we need change, and need it now.

The organizers of this project are hoping to launch this program and award a few monetary prizes that would go towards a person’s college tuition or towards paying off a student loan. Anyone could participate, but the money would have to go directly to the school or the financial institution. So if a student’s family member, relative or friend participated and was chosen as one of the winning submissions, then they would have to designate to whom and where the prize money would be going.

I’m hoping that this project will move forward. I believe the organization is currently working on getting the funding to proceed. I think it would be a great program, very innovative and a cause I would really like to help with. I’m hoping to get a chance to meet with this team while I’m visiting NYC over the next couple of days if we can fit in in between all our schedules.

I’m looking forward to our visit to the Big Apple. The commencement speaker this year will be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor which should be highly inspiring, especially for the young women graduates. Plus, I haven’t been to the new Yankee Stadium yet. My dad used to take me to the old park when I was young since we're all originally from the Bronx. I haven’t been back to Radio City Music Hall in quite some time either.

So I’d like to congratulate my daughter, Kelsey, and all this year’s graduates and wish them the very best life can give. They have a tough road ahead of them. I am so very proud of the fine, young woman that Kelsey has become and all the hard work she has accomplished, not just the NYU years, but since she started her first day of preschool. She still has some close friends from that very first class. The same goes for my other daughter, Alex, who is just one year away from her college graduation. It’s hard to believe where the time has gone, but it has. My, how things have changed so much and how some have remained quite the same.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this special day with you all… family, friends, colleges, clients and readers.


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Thanks Gretchen and Sara. I'll look for you Gretchen today at Radio City. If you recognize either Kelsey or me from the photo in this post please say hi.

Yes, my husband Kevin just ran over to the Home Depot to pick up a couple of things needed for her apt. Yes, I Sara I do agree that this debt problem is huge and Justice Sotomayer did bring it up in her speech on Wednesday. So we know where she stands on the issue.


 Gretchen Seefried

Congratulations! My son, Will and his partner Ryan also graduated from Tisch yesterday...maybe we'll see you at Radio City tomorrow! It was such a wonderful ceremony, and Supreme Justice Sotomayer was inspiring. We are headed to Brooklyn IKEA today for cheap furniture fro poor college grads!


First of all I would like to congratulate you, your daughter Kelsey and entire family. You n your husband must be proud of your daughter. Good Luck for future dear Kelsey! Secondly I would like to appreciate the step taken by PR agency & the organization they are working with as this is one of the major issue that should be solved at first priority by the government.

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