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Compton native delivers speech for fellow grads at SFSU Commencement



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
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Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Lynwood H.S. alum Antoinette Ball tells class of 2004 that 'life is a journey, not a destination'

SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2004 -- Compton native Antoinette Ball, earning a bachelor's degree in political science from San Francisco State University, addressed the class of 2004 and a crowd of 20,000 at the University's 103rd Commencement on May 29, telling them that "life is a journey, not a destination." She encouraged her fellow graduates to commend themselves for their achievements and continue to work hard and pursue their dreams even when the going gets tough.

SFSU administrators selected the Lynwood High School alum among the 7,500 graduates in the University's class of 2004 as the student speaker for the Commencement ceremony.

Since entering SFSU four years ago as a Presidential Scholar -- the University's most distinguished academic award for first-time freshmen -- Ball has immersed herself in the Bay Area community. She is active with her church, First AME in Oakland, and also volunteers for the Rose Resnick Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Girls Inc., an after-school program that helps teach first- and second-grade girls how to read.

"Growing up, the community really reached out to me when my mother couldn't," said Ball, who was raised in Compton by a single mother. "I truly believe in 'each one teach one.'"

Ball, 21, also is a high school outreach coordinator for the SFSU Office of Student Outreach Services and a dancer with the New Style Motherlode dance company.

About 50 members of her family -- including her father, a Detroit resident whom she hasn't seen since age 10 -- came to the Bay Area to celebrate her graduation.

Ball will pursue a master's degree in mass communications at Florida State University this fall. Her 10-year goal is to open a performing arts school in Oakland.

"Arts can be a career," Ball said. "I want kids to know that they can use their creative side to express themselves to the world."

One of the largest campuses in the 23-campus CSU system, SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public, urban university.


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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs