Dwayne Johnson delivered an emotional high school commencement address after receiving $7 from a graduating student.
The Hollywood star had the same amount of money in his pocket when he was cut from the Canadian Football League 26 years ago, and he received the symbolic gesture alongside a touching note from student Lorraine Angelakos inspired by a recent social media speech The Rock directed at the U.S. president.
Taking to Instagram on Monday, June 15, 2020, Johnson recalled his previous video and said: “Where are you? I was speaking to leadership. Where is that leader?
“Where is our leader who would step up to our country at this time, when our country is on its knees, when our country is completely collapsed?
“I received a letter that gave me an answer.”
The 48-year-old star read from the letter he received from the rising senior class president at Pompano Beach High School in Florida.
She wrote: “I think of you as an inspiration to our youth, to help remind us that hard work, positivity and perseverance will pay off no matter how hard the road might seem.
“Most commencement speakers and celebrities are sought for after you complete college, but I think the time is now in your senior year when some students won’t have that luxury to attend college.
“With the help of someone like you, you can inspire them. They deserve it now with you as their inspiration.”
The Jumanji actor admitted he was blown away by the note, and he admitted while he would have given an address for free, the symbolic gesture of $7 “sealed the deal.”
He added: “Lorraine, I would have done this for free. I would have traveled around the world twice and back just to come and speak to you guys during graduation, had you guys had a normal graduation. I would’ve been there.
“But here’s the thing that sealed the deal. ‘As part of a good faith request, I have enclosed seven bucks as a downpayment for your services.’ ”
Listen to The Rock’s address to the graduating class in the IG post below.
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To all the high school graduates of 2020, Truth is, you’re the generation that will have the answers to the questions, we – as adults – are having a challenging time finding the answers to. My/our accountability to your generation is helping create the pathway to normalizing equality and showing that being compassionate, tough, empathetic, strong and kind are never mutually exclusive. And your generation will ensure that equality for all, through empathy and respect will remain forever. Thank you, Pompano Beach High School Senior Class President and Valedictorian, Lorraine Angelakos for this incredibly moving letter that resonated with me deeply. Remember, to put your money where your heart is and always let your heart, mana and instinct be your guiding North Star. We must become the leaders we’re looking for. And I can’t wait to see the leaders that you and all your fellow high school graduates become. Congrats, enjoy your summer, and keep being THE hardest workers in the room✊🏾🎓 DJ aka Mr. 2% #normalizeequality