Recently, a Malaysian girl inspired nearly 1,200 graduates in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Lisa Kamal kicked off her speech by singing her version of “The Story of Tonight” – the fourth track of Grammy-winning Broadway album, Hamilton – as she addressed more than 7,000 people in Sunday’s (15th December 2019) graduation.
Lisa continued saying that it was the Hamilton soundtrack that helped her through her time in UW-Madison. She was quoted by Wisconsin State Journal as saying,
“Raise a glass to freedom. Raise a glass to all of us. Telling the story of today. Listening to the ‘Hamilton’ soundtrack became my coping mechanism that would get me through the day,”
She shared with her fellow graduates that she came to UW-Madison through a scholarship program courtesy of Petronas. She continued,
“I was visiting some old friends and I kept checking my email because I was waiting for the announcement to come out.”
Nevertheless, Lisa was still clueless about the kind of program she wanted to take up even after she was accepted into UW-Madison. But, since she was a Science stream student, she knew that she was going to pursue a program that was related to STEM. So, she chose geology and thankfully, she enjoyed the program as she participated in field research for the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey. However, her journey is UW-Madison wasn’t a cakewalk, she shared,
“My second year in college, I suffered burnout to the point of losing motivation to finish this degree. I could not have finished college without the friends that I (have) made here. They got me through a lot of late nights at the library.”
Then, the new graduate looked out to her friends and said,
“You (have) made it here to the last act. You (have) made the choice to rise up and give yourself another chance to start over every single morning.”
“For me, I sang like my life was a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.”
You can watch her entire speech below:
FYI, Lisa was actually born in the US when her parents were studying in the country, but she grew up in Kuala Lumpur. She expressed that she had always wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and pursue an education in US. Well done, girl!
We’re proud of Lisa and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours!
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