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Graduation 2020: Kendra Scott Shares Message of Hope

The jewelry maker shares a video dedicated to students, including her son, who can't walk the stage due to the pandemic

“Hello, Class of 2020. I hope that you’re all staying safe and healthy during these crazy times.”

That’s the opening line of a video message Kendra Scott has made for the students graduating this May, including her oldest son Cade, a high school senior.

“He is so disappointed that he won’t be able to walk with all of his friends,” she says of her son. “As a mom, I’m so sad that we can’t celebrate that with him, so we’ve been looking for new ways we can celebrate this huge moment in his life and all of his accomplishments.”

Scott adds: “That’s what I think is the most important these days – you’ve got to look for the bright side of every challenge, and today I’m here to help you do just that.”

The designer and CEO of the company that carries her name – who includes philanthropy as part of her core mission – was added by Texas Governor Greg Abbot to an advisory committee tasked with planning the reopening of the state’s economy.

Photo by Jared Tennant

“Today is a day you should be so proud of,” Scott tells graduating seniors after telling them to put on a cap and gown. “Despite every new difficulty presented to you this semester, you showed up, you did the work and you earned your diploma. That is the kind of resilience no classroom can teach. And now it’s time for you to take on the world ahead.”

Scott then goes on to share her advice to the young people: “The struggle makes you stronger. I want you to know you’re not alone,” she says. “There are so many times in my life where I’ve faced a roadblock that I really thought was insurmountable.”

She cites launching – and failing at – her first business, starting the Kendra Scott jewelry brand and the 2008 recession that shuttered many businesses. “Every one of these challenges in the moment terrified me,” she says. “Looking back at them now, I can see that each one was a moment of impact that got me to the next place in my life, a better place.”

Scott says she emerged from those difficulties stronger than before and armed with lessons learned that helped her moving forward. “We are smarter. We’re more confident, more agile and we are not afraid of a challenge,” she says. “

Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott says learning flexibility and creativity can help build confidence. “This time for me has taught me not to take moments for granted, an amazing lesson to be learned during such a scary time. I’m so proud of you,” she says before ending her message with the toss of a graduation cap.