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Watch Jennifer Nettles’ Moving Commencement Speech at Alma Mater

Though she immediately admitted she was nervous to take the stage in front of soon-to-be graduates, their families, professors and alumni, Jennifer Nettles was incredibly personable and animated during her recent commencement speech at Agnes Scott College.

Nettles graduated from Agnes Scott College in 1997, when The Color Purple author Alice Walker gave the commencement speech. Needless to say, Nettles felt intimidated to take on the task, but as an alumnus of the private women’s liberal arts college in Decatur, Ga., she knew she could give her speech a personal touch.

As a Grammy winner, Broadway star and beloved musician, Jennifer Nettles has gained great insight on striving toward a dream, standing up for oneself and nurturing personal growth. In her speech, she reminded students to live authentically, and while they may be focused on career goals, remember that who you are is more important than your job title.

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She also encouraged the women in the audience to “show up for each other,” and though they should be flexible to change, they should also stand up for what they believe in and entice change when it’s needed by listening and supporting each other.

While Nettles cracked jokes, she also gave out incredible advice and closed with an acapella Irish blessing for luck, giving students a moment to remember and propel them forward into the next step of their lives.

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Watch Jennifer Nettles’ Moving Commencement Speech at Alma Mater