Whitney Young HS
English II H. P6
John Jacob Rogers Award: International Diplomacy
[if clapping]Thank you, Thank you.
Well first off, I want to thank everyone who helped me reach this point. My wife, my mother, my sister, all my mentors, my high school teachers and college professors for always challenging me, my various friends who have supported me along the way. I would also like to thank all the individuals who I have met throughout the years, who make this job so rewarding, who really deserve this because without them I wouldn't be doing the work I am doing.
It is such an honor to receive such an award, I mean such an honor. Receiving this award for 25 years of service in international diplomacy is truly a great experience, and a huge landmark in my life. I feel as if it was not long ago that I just began this job. I honestly never knew about this award until a little while ago. I thought the experience itself is already rewarding enough.
This has always been my dream job, for as long as I remember. My father was a diplomat who worked for the U.S. Embassy relating to military security. I was born in Abu Dhabi where he was working as a military advisor. Since a young age, I was exposed to the world. I got to live in many places, which was a great experience for a child like me. I always love moving, a new house offering unexplored hiding places, a different playground to spend the afternoons in and new friends to play with.
When I was living in Nigeria, at 7 years old, my father passed away, while still working in the Foreign Service. Me, my mother, and my sister all moved to Chicago to begin life anew. But I couldn't leave it all behind. We lived there for close to about 10 years, which to me at the time seem like an eternity (which it still does), having only ever lived as long as 2.5 years in one place before that. I realized that I wanted to move. I preferred living only for a year or two in a place then going somewhere else to begin another new and amazing adventure.
It is thank to my dad, that I was able to get a taste of what an incredible experience this could be. Once you take a bite there is no going back, close to nothing compares to the variety of experiences one is able to gain. I will always remember this job, and this award as I embark on another new adventure. I thank the foreign service for this award, and everyone who has helped me reach this point. Thank you.