Watch: Student gives impassioned graduation speech on importance of education  

A Harvard student’s speech has been viewed more than 500,000 times

A graduate’s spoken-word poem has gone viral and been deemed one of the “most powerful” student speeches.

Donovan Livingston, who has a masters in teaching and learning, gave a rousing speech about unleashing children’s potential through education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

A video of the speech, posted on the university department’s Facebook page, has been viewed more than 500,000 times and shared by the likes of singer Justin Timberlake.

The address, which received a standing ovation, was hailed as “one of the most powerful, heartfelt student speeches you will ever hear” by the school of education.

‘An enslavement to your standardised assessments’

In the poem, titled “Lift Off,” the masters graduate talks about how the education system can also fail children.

He writes: “I look each of my students in the eyes,
 and see the same light that aligned Orion’s Belt and the pyramids of Giza.
 I see the same twinkle
 that guided Harriet to freedom. 
I see them.

“Beneath their masks and mischief exists an authentic frustration. An enslavement to your standardised assessments.”

In the speech, the graduate says: “
I teach in hopes of turning content into rocket ships, tribulations into telescopes, so a child can see their potential from right where they stand.”

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