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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Graduation Speakers

Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Address Graduates
Photo courtesy of DROP WATER
Scott Edwards, high school graduation speaker

Pinewood administrators have selected the eighth grade and high school speakers for this year’s graduation. 

   Pinewood alum, Founder and CEO of Drop Water Scott Edwards, will be speaking at the graduation ceremony for high school, while alum Ashley Ocampo, founder of HALEYS Beauty, will be speaking at the eighth grade graduation. 

   Drop Water is a company that provides an alternate solution to plastic waste made by offering vending machines, water refill, and compostable cartons. Edwards is excited to share his journey of Drop Water with the Pinewood seniors. He also hopes to leave the seniors with hope and excitement for their own journeys beyond high school.

   “I want students to follow that hint of excitement you get when you’re doing something you love and don’t get hung up on the things you’re not great at,” Edwards said.

   Edwards believes that it does not matter if a student is particularly gifted in their academics, but rather if they are passionate towards the subject, which is much more valuable.

   “I am a dyslexic learner, and I had bad grades at Pinewood,” Edwards said. “I was very unsure of my future, but I found my way and I believe every student at Pinewood will, regardless of how unsure they may be of their future.”    

   Pinewood President Scott Riches agrees with Edwards in that passion is important, and that’s the reason Riches chose Edward to speak at high school graduation. 

   “I remember him as a student, but it’s been a number of years,” Riches said. “But I just remember he was very personable, very passionate about engineering and actually the sciences in general . .  I liked his interest in the sciences and how curious he was and just how passionate he was about his company that he started.”

   Similarly, Ocampo also started her own business. HALEYS Beauty is a personal care product company that emphasizes the importance of cruelty-free and safe makeup products. Ocampo, like Edwards, has a passion, particularly in chemistry, and continues to exemplify WISCR even after leaving Pinewood. Riches said she is a great choice for the eighth grade graduation speaker and remembers her fondly.

   “[She was] very personable, very energetic, very involved, kind of like the Pinewood WISCR, really involved in being a well rounded student.” Riches said. “We were also really impressed with her entrepreneurship. . . especially finding her passion and just going for it.”

   The junior high graduation ceremony for the eighth graders will be held at Pinewood Upper Campus on May 29 starting at 6 p.m. As for the seniors, their graduation is on May 30 starting at 9:30 a.m. at Pinewood Upper Campus.

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