Dedicating her speech to her mom, Anngerline Burgos, of Amesbury, Massachusetts, addressed her fellow graduates at Salem State University’s School of Education ceremony on May 19.
Burgos was receiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the ceremony and had been selected to serve as student speaker. Upon graduating, Burgos became the first in her family to complete college, which she credited to her mother for having moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico when Burgos was five.
“She moved away from her support system,” said Burgos. “They say raising a child takes a village, and she moved away from hers. She moved away from her village to guarantee me a better education. To make sure that this day, this moment, me speaking to you, would happen. So thank you mom, thank you for taking such a big risk on me and my future.”
Burgos will now be giving the gift of education to others as an elementary school teacher. Starting this fall, she will teach fourth graders full-time at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School in Salem.
Burgos will also continue her education at Salem State University as a graduate student in the School of Education’s 4+1 program. For the next year, she will take night classes to earn her master’s degree.
In her address, Burgos recognized her advisor, Assistant Professor Leslie Duhaylongsod, whom she said “somehow always had the answer -- even if the email was sent at midnight.”
Burgos also credited all her professors in the School of Education for the lessons that will make her the best educator she can be.
“The conversations of creating an inclusive classroom, being self-aware, and holding myself and my future students to a high standard is an experience I’ll never forget,” said Burgos.
Burgos initially attended a college in Boston as a biology major, and she later transferred to Northern Essex Community College uncertain of which path she wished to take. She soon realized that education was her calling, a realization that, once again, she credits to her mom.
In closing her commencement address, Burgos shared that her mom giving up her own village allowed Burgos to build a village at Salem State.
“I get to stand here today and say thank you mom,” she said. “Thank you for believing in me, for taking a chance for me. Thank you for giving me this village.”
View Burgos' address at 57:10.