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Commencement

Student Speaker: Matvey Sineev

Matvey Sineev Matvey graduates with his Associate of Arts Degree. He attended Edmonds Community College as a Running Start student and also has just completed his high school diploma from Meadowdale High School.

Matvey came to the college motivated to begin to secure a good footing for his future at the first opportunity. "When I was three years old, my family and I came from Minsk, Belarus to Seattle with $12,000, a suitcase, and no English. The motivation I saw in my parents through our first years in America taught me to work hard, live a fulfilling life, and make good connections with other people," he said.

While attending college, Matvey has participated on his high school swim team and chamber orchestra and worked as a lifeguard at the City of Lynnwood Recreation Center and as an English tutor at Edmonds Community College. He is an Eagle Scout and an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 67 and a volunteer and participant with Lynnwood Rotary and at his church.

Matvey is also an avid bike commuter. He traveled 30 minutes by bike to the college to take classes every day, all year round.

He plans to attend the University of Washington. His goal is to complete a Master's of Business Administration. He intends to gain skills that support his family and create jobs and opportunities for other people.

"I am proud when I give back to the community," he said.

Matvey Sineev: Commencement 2012 Speech

Matvey Sineev

“Life does not always come with a set of instructions.” I want to take credit for that phrase, but I can’t, I actually heard it from “Early Edition;” the first episode to a TV show about a man who got tomorrow’s newspaper the day before things happened.

I can take credit however, for noticing how important those words are. The writers of that TV show were really on to something! They were asking: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have everything figured out in advance? The truth is: Yes, it would be really nice. If I had everything figured out, I would have invested in Google stock before I turned five. No, we don’t get a set of instructions and we don’t always have the mentors and leaders at our disposal, who can guide us on our best path in life from the moment we are born. Good mentors are usually found over time. After all, what is more difficult and time consuming than finding someone who really understands you and wants to be a part of your life?

My family came from Minsk, Belarus to Seattle with $12,000, and a suitcase. We didn’t understand English, but we tried hard to learn the language, meet great people and improve our circumstances. This is the same situation many Americans face at some point in life. When I moved here I was amazed by how people sounded, behaved, and even smelled different, and I could tell that America was full of interesting perspectives and hard workers.

What has Edmonds Community College done for me? It has connected me with those kinds of people in a good environment, and has helped me make a plan for tomorrow -- a set of instructions. My plan includes starting at the University of Washington next fall and getting a Master’s in Business Administration. Eventually, I want to support my family and create jobs for other people. Edmonds Community College was the key to finding myself and the key to developing notions about what I wanted from my future. This school has helped me get a handle on the language of college, to feel confident and to start in the direction of my field of work.

I came into college like many people did, hoping to organize my life into a powerful, productive force. On my first day, the first thing I did was run to the counseling center and say, “What should my major be?” Indeed, I found out how to make a plan and find the mentors to point me in the right direction. Like many of you, I found what appealed to me here at the college and I made it have an important contribution to my life. When I had a question, I talked directly to teachers who were passionate about their subjects, who were eager to advise me, who listened and cared. I met fellow students who were equally motivated, and inspired me to think through several points of view.

Ultimately it was the teachers and students here who taught me how to become organized with my thoughts, and brought new concepts to me that gave words to many of the feelings I had inside. It was the teachers who gave me the opportunity to become a writing tutor here on campus, and the chance to be able to help other people. Without them, I may have never tried some things out on my own.

Today we walk hand in hand with the instructors who made some kind of difference in our lives. And I really want to thank all of you and them in particular.

I am an immigrant with an interesting story, but my experience has not been unique to me. That kind of experience is similar to what we have all gone through to get here today. We all decided to try something new. We all made a decision to get involved with our educations, meet great people, and try hard to set ourselves up for a bright future. Similar to how my family learned English and learned the culture, we have all learned the language and culture of college, and no matter where we go from here today, this evening we all celebrate the trip together and celebrate our accomplishments.

Edmonds Community College was our place to learn and to write our own instructions and now we can take our education into our future as we climb new heights.