Dwayne Johnson Surprises Graduating High School Student Who Answered His Call for Leadership
Dwayne Johnson has found a future leader of the U.S. in high school senior Lorraine Angelakos.
The actor, 48, shared a touching Instagram video on Monday in which he read aloud a letter written to him by Angelakos, requesting that he speak to her graduating class at Pompano Beach High School in Florida.
Johnson referred to his video last week in which he asked the seminal question, "Where are you?" which he said on Monday's video "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?" Johnson said. "I received a letter that gave me my answer."
"Like you, I believe the same: As one door closes, another one opens," Johnson said, reading from Angelakos' letter. "You just have to have the drive and willpower to go through that next door and give it your all."
The Jumanji: The Next Level star said, "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."
Johnson continued reading, "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."
"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," the actor read. "With the help of someone like you, you can inspire them. They deserve it now with you as their inspiration."
As Johnson paused, he looked at the camera and said, "You’re absolutely right. It’s the high school seniors. Lorraine, I would have done this for free. I would’ve traveled around the world twice and back just to come and speak to you guys during graduation. I would’ve been there."
"But here’s the thing that sealed the deal," he said, looking back down at the letter as he read Angelakos' words: "As part of a good faith request, I have enclosed seven bucks as a downpayment for your services."
The $7 is a symbolic gesture referring back to the amount of money Johnson had when he first started his career.
"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."
Johnson continued, "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."
"Always put your money where your heart is. Your heart, your mana and your instinct will always be your North Star," he said, adding he would invest the money he received from Angelakos in her name.
"We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for," he continued. "To all the graduates of 2020, congratulations, thank you for being our leaders. We got this."