The Rock responds to high school student’s letter

'It knocked me off my feet.'
June 16, 2020 10:35 a.m. EST
June 19, 2020 12:00 a.m. EST
THE TITAN GAMES -- "West Region Premiere: NFL’s Victor Cruz and Stuntwoman Jessie Graff" Episode 205 -- Pictured: Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Steve Dietl/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank) THE TITAN GAMES -- "West Region Premiere: NFL’s Victor Cruz and Stuntwoman Jessie Graff" Episode 205 -- Pictured: Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Steve Dietl/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, has finally found his answer. A couple of weeks ago the actor and wrestler posted a call for leadership on his Instagram account, asking the simple question, “Where are you?” Johnson was responding to the climate in America in the wake of the current Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic, calling for a leader to help unify the country and offer a voice of reason. Little did he know he would find it from a graduating high school student.On June 15, the 48-year-old posted another video to his Instagram account, this time to read aloud from a letter that high school senior Lorraine Angelakos sent, asking him to be her graduating class’s commencement speaker. “Like you, I believe the same: As one door closes, another one opens," Johnson read. "You just have to have the drive and willpower to go through that next door and give it your all." The actor then glanced back up to the camera to add, “When I received this letter, it knocked me off my feet. It’s not what Lorraine is saying it’s how she’s saying it."[video_embed id='1976429']RELATED: North Vancouver high school students will still get to walk across the graduation stage[/video_embed]
View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Johnson then continued to read. “Some students will be making their way to college and some won’t, some will be hitting the workforce. All of us have dreams and aspirations. I consider you 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," the high school student wrote. “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 Rock then paused to add that Angelakos is “absolutely right,” and that he would have travelled the world to be there and he would have done it for free. But for him, what sealed the deal was the fact that the student also enclosed a symbolic $7 down payment, a.k.a. the exact sum of money Johnson had in his pocket when he started out his career. (Surprising, considering he’s now the highest paid movie star in the world.)The actor then gave what could very well be interpreted as a commencement speech. "Lorraine, I asked a question a few weeks ago: I said where are you? And now I have my answer. You’re right here. Here you are," he said. "Here you are. Lorraine, you and your fellow graduates … you guys are our empathetic compassionate leaders who are going to lead us, who are going to be the ones responsible that we as adults are having a little challenging time right now answering. You guys are the ones who are going to normalize equality. We’re going to build a pathway, that’s my accountability, myself and others we’re going to build that pathway. You guys are going to make sure it happens and that it stays that way forever."Johnson then revealed that he will invest the money in Angelakos’s name. “Always put your money where your heart is. Your heart, your mana and your instinct will always be your North Star,” the Moana actor added. “We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for. To all the graduates of 2020, congratulations, thank you for being our leaders. We got this.”[video_embed id='1977788']BEFORE YOU GO: Sasha Exeter, Jessica Mulroney and white privilege[/video_embed]

You might also like