11:57 AM

BU Student Commencement Speech Goes Viral (Video)

By Cris Hay-Merchant

Did you see it yet?

A video featuring the speech given by Leia Baez at the Bellevue University 2018 Winter Commencement has gone viral after being shared by Goalcast, an inspiring community for achievers dedicated to helping people improve their lives.

Just 18 hours after the video was first posted, it had been viewed 850,071 times! According to Baez, who earned her Master’s in Public Administration degree, she was contacted by the Goalcast talent director about a month ago with a request to allow her commencement speech to be shared. The video was posted by Goalcast on May 22 and accessible to the Goalcast website audience that reaches 400 million as well as the community’s 10 million Facebook followers. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of views worldwide, the video has also garnered hundreds of comments and shares on Baez’s personal social media pages.

Baez’s commencement speech first presented in January focused on failure that she had experienced and how she was able to use the simple inspiration of glow-in-the-dark stars stuck on the ceiling of her childhood bedroom in her parents’ home to think about her life differently. Baez said “My struggles and my dark times have made me so much stronger. Fearless, even … I know that stars don’t shine in the light, and neither do we. It is during the darkness that we are forced to grow and learn who we are.”

Baez went on to encourage her fellow graduates to embrace their “dark times,” surround themselves with supportive people and use challenges to find breakthroughs in their lives.

Today, Baez is succeeding – working as Public Information Officer for Douglas County and raising her daughter with the support of her family. She is humble and happy that her story is having a positive impact on Bellevue University and others around the world.

“I’m so grateful,” she said, “that the biggest mistakes and disappointments in life can also be the best lessons and blessings!”

View the video below.