On How To Be Influencers


[Second in a series: Valedictory addresses from the different colleges of the University of Northern Philippines are here featured as excellent graduates reflect on the journey behind them and as they forward to the next.]

In this era of knowledge and technology-driven society, are we fit to be “influencers”?

In her valedictory address, Kayla Ryssel T. Queddeng, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication graduate, challenged her fellow graduates to embrace their role as influencers and agents of positive change in society. Queddeng emphasized that influence is not limited to those with a large platform, but rather, it begins within one’s own circle and extends to the broader community.

Queddeng stressed that true influence is rooted in kindness, compassion, and positivity. She encouraged graduates to use their knowledge and skills to help others, fight for their rights, and educate those with different beliefs. Influence, according to Queddeng, is about standing up for the truth, doing what is right, and amplifying the voices of those facing struggles and distress.

The valedictorian reminded her classmates that their diploma is not just for themselves, but for the betterment of society. She challenged them to raise the red and white flag of their College, representing their passion for progress and their commitment to integrity.

Queddeng’s speech resonated with the idea that each individual has the power to influence and create positive change. She emphasized that even in the face of challenges and exhaustion, one must believe in themselves and remember that nothing is impossible for those who have faith in their abilities.

As the graduates embark on their next journey, Queddeng’s words serve as a powerful reminder of the responsibility that comes with education and the potential to make a difference in the world. According to her, as Filipino screenwriter, journalist, novelist, and playwright Ricky Lee once said: “your diploma is not for you, but rather, it’s for other people.” Her message encourages the graduates to use their knowledge, skills, and influence to advocate for social justice, promote understanding, and create a more compassionate society.


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