Hamilton delivers Morenci 2022 keynote commencement address

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci 2010 grad Jeremy Hamilton poses with Class of 2022 members in Wildcat Memorial Gymnasium. It was prior to the start of the May ceremony. The commencement speaker offered advice to the school’s 117th graduating class, numbering 69 students.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – A few weeks removed from its commencement exercises, the class of 2022 meets en masse no more. Members have moved on with their individual goals and aspirations. Some await the start of another school year in an institution of higher learning or trade school, have become part of the armed services, or have joined the workforce, but most assuredly are in “the real world.”

Where ever their paths take them, they will remember the words expressed to them on their May graduation date, before Memorial Day. The words were offered by one of their own, attending the same school, sitting in the same classrooms, and having some of the same teachers. He excelled in the classroom as well as in athletic venues of competition, earning scholarships and varsity letters in both football and baseball, and is removed from their situation a mere dozen years.

His post-high school journey led him to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and material management, with a math minor from the University of Arizona. He is currently a senior production engineer of a semiconductor and microchip industry company, as well as has a couple of businesses.

In trying to decide what to say to the graduating class members, Class of 2010 grad Jeremy Hamilton asked, “What advice would I give to my 18-year-old self?” He used no note cards or a written script to read from but delivered Morenci’s 2022 keynote commencement exercises address from memory. The following is taken from his address.

“Three things they should be aware of; perspective, how you view your situation in life is everything; networking, surround yourself with great people, and have a clear vision of your future before elaborating on each, using examples of his life’s journey for each,” he said.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jeremy Hamilton listed three items the Class of 2022 should be aware of, perspective, networking, and a clear vision of their future; elaborating on each by using examples of his own life’s journey for each.

“Perspective: I am forever grateful for growing up in Morenci. Growing up in Morenci is what made me what I am today. The best perspective or mindset to have in life is life is happening for you, not to you. We all go through tough situations, and we all go through hardships. What makes you is how you deal with those hardships and those situations. I implore you to develop that perspective.”

“My second key of the night: Surround yourself with amazing people. There’s going to be some groups of people in your life. The first group of people is your closest friends. They say your network is your net worth. You’re the average of your five closest people. So if your five closest friends aren’t doing much with their life, you will be the sixth. If your five closest friends are driven, hardworking, and treat people right, you will be the sixth.”

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The football jersey worn by Jeremy Hamilton was gifted to him by the Class of 2022 in appreciation for his talk. The MHS alum proudly held it up for all to see.

“The reason I share who my friends were, fast forward to today, we’ve all been relatively successful. Three of us are engineers and two are electricians. When we were in school, we were all building skills and habits. But because we were friends, we were reinforcing that, instead of bringing each other down. This is why it is so important to be careful who your friends are.”

“The second group of people in your life is your mentors. These are the people you look up to, the people that have gone where you want to go, and the people who have done what you want to do.”

“In this life, people are going to judge you, criticize you, and have strong opinions about your life. Be very mindful of the opinions you buy, because if you buy someone’s opinion, you buy their lifestyle. So, why not buy the opinion of the people that have done what you want to do or gone where you want to go, versus the people not doing much with their life? And a mentor doesn’t have to be this formal person. It can be in the shape of the books you read, or the videos you watch. It’s the stuff that you pour into your mind. The stuff that you pour into your mind will directly shape the person you become.”

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Proud parents, father Willie and mother Denise Hamilton, flank son Jeremy following the graduation ceremony.

“The final group of people is everyone else. These are the people that look up to you, the people that know of you, and the people that hate on you. And here’s my advice to those people. Appreciate those that support you, forgive those that hurt you, and help those that need you. The way you treat people will directly impact your life.”

“So, if you don’t remember anything about my speech tonight, always treat people the way you want to be treated and your life will instantly get better.”

“My final key for the night is to develop a clear vision for your future and have a strong reason why you want that future. If you develop this, you can get over any challenge or hurdle that may come in your path.”

“This is how you do it, through education and learning. Just because you’re graduating here tonight, learning doesn’t stop. Learning is a life-long thing. And, the more you pour into your mind, the more you learn; your path will become clearer. You’ll learn what’s for you, and what’s not for you. What you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at. And your purpose will be revealed to you.”

“So, here’s my challenge for you. After all the partying, and all the celebration this weekend, take a moment to yourself and write down your vision for your future. If you have this vision and you focus on it, you will be successful. Focus stands for ‘follow one course until successful.’ I keep talking about success tonight, but success means something different for everyone. My definition of success is committing to a goal, seeing it through to the end, and doing it to your best ability. In this definition, you can be a successful parent, successful teacher, successful in the mine, (or) successful at anything you choose to do. Become the best version of you.”

“And I’ll leave you off with this. You only get one life to live. Make the most of it. Live your life to the fullest. And you living your life to the fullest, you’re going to be an example to all your friends and family, to your parents, and to the future students coming through these hallways here in Morenci. You’re going to become the parent you want to be, you’re going to level up in the mine, and you’re going to become the best version of you.”

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Tamarisk Street neighbors, football brothers, and MHS alums Nicholas “Nu-Nu” Lopez (Class of 2010), William Duane Sanders (1985), Jeremy Hamilton (2010), and Nicholas Sanders (2010) pose for a picture.

“And five, 10, 15 years from now, people are going to be asking you, ‘how did you do it? How did you become so successful?’ And you can tell them, I did it by following the three keys. My mindset, I grew up believing growing up in Morenci is a biggest blessing and not a curse; my network, I surrounded myself with amazing people, and my reason why, I had a clear vision for my future and I stayed focused.”

“With that being said, thank you so much for having me here tonight, enjoy the celebration with your family, congratulation class of 2022.”