VHS graduates reminded of the keys to success

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, May 25, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Verbena High School’s 55 graduates were told they have already learned everything they need to succeed by commencement speaker Dr. Alison Grizzle, a former educator who is now a business owner, during graduation on May 25.

“Everything you need to be successful, you have already learned at your time at Verbena,” Grizzle said. “Really, the keys of success boil down to four things: be a good employee, work hard and persevere through difficult tasks, always engage in a constant pursuit of better and keep your word.”

She told students not to expect to start at the top in the working world.

“You start at the bottom and you work your way up,” Grizzle said.

She said those who have nice houses and things have worked hard and long to get them.

“Everything you do in employment matters,” Grizzle said.

She emphasized the importance of having a good attitude, being a team player and a good work ethic.

“All of that is what the teachers at Verbena have been teaching you for the last 12 years,” Grizzle said.

She talked about the importance of taking advantages and working hard. Grizzle said she and her husband built their companies from the ground up. The first business investment was “a phone he could email with.”

“We started small and worked to grow big,” Grizzle said.

The hard work and sacrifice paid off.

“Today we have 30 employees. We have seven local community papers. We are a digital company where we develop websites, manage Facebook, do videography, but none of that came easy,” Grizzle said. “It came through hard work. It came through a lot of nights of tears. It came through a lot of frustration.”

She told students that each school project they completed taught them this.

In addition to working hard, Grizzle said students must always adapt and strive to be better in order to be successful.

“Technology is changing the world around us and the only thing that is certain is that the world is uncertain,” Grizzle said. “Those who settle for good will not be the ones who succeed and rise to the top.”

She said those who do what they say they will do and are honest with people, they will be the best at what they do.

“Dreaming big with no action leaves you only with a fantasy,” Grizzle said. “I want to challenge you to lay the foundation for your dream and make you dream a reality … you need more than a dream. You need a plan.”

Valedictorian Tessa Thompson and Salutatorian Brie Graves also offered congratulations and encouragement to the graduates.


To view additional photos or purchase photos from the Verbena High School graduation, visit www.shelbycountyphotos.com.