Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson delivered a surprise virtual graduation address for high school seniors after one student’s request to speak at her ceremony “knocked me off my feet,” he said Monday.
The “Jumanji” star posted a video to Instagram in which he read excerpts from a letter he’d received from Lorraine Angelakos, a senior at Pompano Beach High School in Florida.
Angelakos acknowledged in her letter how “most commencement speakers and celebrities are sought for after you complete college” but suggested someone like Johnson should speak out to inspire graduating seniors because “some students won’t have that luxury” of further education.
Angelakos offered to fundraise to cover Johnson’s travel and food expenses to attend the school’s commencement.
She even enclosed $7 “as part of a good faith request” as a downpayment. That detail “sealed the deal,” Johnson said — he famously only had $7 to his name when he began his career.
In a video that he shared online last month, the actor asked where a “compassionate leader” of the U.S. was while “our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain” amid the coronavirus pandemic and growing outrage over systemic racism and police brutality.
Angelakos, Johnson said in his new video, had answered him.
“You’re right here. Here you are,” he declared. “We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for.”
Check out the full video here: