Helder Sarrazina is the recipient of the Jean and Jim Genasci Honorary Scholarship at STCC. He is studying business administration and was a featured speaker at the spring 2019 Scholarship and Awards Breakfast. These are his remarks.

Education is truly the only way forward in a world enshrouded in rapid change. Education is the element that allows you to see not only the bigger picture, rather the whole: There are many people on this planet that were never given the chance to learn to even read, write, or count. What a privilege it is to be allowed to surround oneself with minds that are just as curious and enlightened when it comes to academia! College will indeed bring continuous, necessary growth as different challenges come and our beautiful Earth gets a little older.

To be very frank, I never doubted that sooner or later, I’d be given the chance to study anew: the first two years after my arrival from my home country were frantic ones where immigration paperwork, different licenses and legal requirements, and the puzzle of a family that has finally become were first-hand realities; I wished it so incredibly much that it finally happened – wishes do come true.

In the words of a famous entrepreneur, “with great power comes great responsibility”: if I am to materialize all the great things I am humbled to envision as I carry out this mystic journey of human life, for both professional and societal goals, I ought to determine myself so much in proportion with what I am seeking to erect, in the forms of providing employment, pay retribution to America for the unforgettable way in how it received me as I now walk a path toward citizenship by working for the federal government’s public policy agencies and watchdogs, and teaching classes to the upcoming generations (particularly because the art of education is itself, too, at stake, given the current global climate).

Excused to say my family has been instrumental in the way I am fashioning my own destiny, and with destiny come choices. In the end, it is imperative not only to bring back traditional values in a much more sincere, efficient manner adapted to the twenty-first century; but, above all, it is essential we, the current generation, as pioneers of grand change and pursuit of happiness as dictated by our Founding Fathers, open the eyes of both loved ones and strangers to the truth and miracle that arrive when they fall in love with all they do and yearn to learn past death itself; being bold enough to defy all odds and maintaining a unique respect for learning will be decisive in their kickoff of positive change that is so amiss from our society today. Love, for the work you do, or what you study, or what you envision, is critical when you feel sick and tired of fighting against the harshness of other humans who have lost their true north, or who seek to adapt realities to their innermost belief rather than following the maxim that remaining open-minded and humble before knowledge, both old and new, is everything; the world crumbles, poverty and illness are widespread, and so is inequality.

Let us begin an era of massive correction. Everything, including Nature, is an equation: if we fine-tune the variables… we will get the real answer. One amendment that is most important to mention is the one enforced by scholarship donors: they attempt every year to right the wrong as unfortunately, education being a business is still not a bad thing to many if not most. Well, let’s say I face education too, as an art, just like the hotel industry, the one I fell in love with to carry into a full-fledged career.

This is where these mentors from near and afar leave underline the fact that education is intrinsic to human life and without it, we are left in darkness. The gifts that are provided for the continuation of my education will be well worth the investment: I feel a drive that is endless, and I wish I can extend my intellectual capabilities to all those in need of me whenever the purpose is fighting for a better world. There is no doubt in my mind that many would benefit in their personal lives should they be able to hone into their true spirituality past religions of all colors to unveil the power of determination; with that, there will always be some who will look for them as they already cause immense change, whether in the form of money, a job or a special endeavor, or simply relieving those who are older and already did more than their piece to carry the torch.

A special appreciation for the Jean and Jim Genasci Foundation – I am looking forward to assist with all the powers that I have been entrusted with. A big thank you to my institution as well, for admitting me and believing that a simple man like me can advance in life, too. Let us usher into a new academic year, one of opportunity, discovery and results. This is truly the home I never had, and I wish I can grow so much to aid in advancing the glory of academia with you all and offer its value to other human beings. God bless the United States of America.