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Tonight has been an incredible experience for me. I have always been very ambitious, and much like every person in this room, I have always been a dreamer.
Since I was a little girl I knew what I wanted to do with my life—I wanted to use my voice to connect with people and to perform, to create art. I grew up watching movies all the time, a whole variety, I loved musicals, I loved singing, so I was very drawn to classic Disney movies and ones by Pixar. This continued when I was a teenager. And I remember watching a short film from the 1970s that had a quote by a motivational speaker called Dr. Wayne Dyer, and I came to learn this quote was inspired by Albert Einstein. And this quote inspired me to continue chasing my dreams, and it helped me understand when I meet my dreams, how to face the fear and excitement and the vulnerability that comes with them.

The quote is:
Fear of the unknown.
They are afraid of new ideas.
They are loaded with prejudices,
not based upon anything in reality, but based upon…
If something is new, I reject it immediately because it’s frightening to me.
What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.
You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all of the universe are the most mysterious.

So I’d like to raise a toast, to not only chasing our dreams, running after them bravely, but to continuing to run with them, to staying loyal to our dreams, because we don’t have to be familiar. We can be ourselves, we can be the change no matter what we look like, where we come from, the color of our skin, what our journey might look like. We can celebrate the new or perhaps we can celebrate what was already there and never got the chance to be seen. And we can celebrate the next. Cheers.