Grad speaker leads, inspires others

“What I’m passionate about is people making the most of their potential.”

– Daniel McLean, graduation speaker


McLean explains his company’s process for building a blood-illuminating device. He heads the production.
Nicholas Trujillo / Aztec Press

Pima Community College’s graduation speaker, the middle child of 10 children, will discuss three topics at the May 18 ceremony.

Sophomore Daniel McLean is a sibling to seven brothers and two sisters, so growing up was a unique experience. “With so many boys, you had to be tough, but it was very fun,” McLean said.

Members of his family live both in the United States and Mexico. His parents live in San Carlos, Mexico, while one older brother resides in Colorado.

McLean’s parents have been the driving force since he was a child, McLean said. Even though there were 10 kids, he always knew he was loved as much as his brothers and sisters.

“From early on Daniel’s demeanor has always been gregarious, outgoing, and front-andcenter,” Steve McLean, Daniel’s father, said. “He was always ‘Our Little Senator’ never shy, he has always taken great interest in the lives of others.”

Steve McLean added Daniel was, “never one to criticize, but always far more prone to encourage, to compliment and to build up those around him.”

They also made sure McLean did not waste his time on anything he wasn’t passionate about.

“My faith is that God has given me breath and life for a reason,” he said. “And I have the opportunity and responsibility to make the most of it.”

After living with his family for a year, McLean moved to Colorado to live with his older brother and built up his bank account. Once he earned enough money, he moved to Tucson.

McLean chose Tucson due to the low cost of living and education. At Pima, McLean finished his prerequisites. He’ll move on to the University of Arizona to major in law and minor in communications.

McLean was chosen as the graduation speaker after he submitted a 50-word opening. Then he was interviewed by a selection committee.

“I love to speak, so I decided to give it a shot,” he said. “I thought, ‘Fifty words? That’s barely enough to say hello.’”

McLean was given three topics to focus on while providing his own touch.

The topics include “the importance of diversity in a community,” “economic uncertainty for graduates” and “philanthropy and giving back to the community.”

His plan is to start off lighthearted to get the crowd laughing, but steer the speech into a serious tone toward the end.

His likely opener: “Good evening, and congratulations. The road from here is still filled with textbooks that are wet from our tears.”

McLean’s philosophy is that people shouldn’t waste their life. He will encourage listeners to think about why they are in a bad spot and how to get out of it.

“What I’m passionate about is people making the most of their potential,” he said. “There’s so many people, mostly men, nowadays that waste so much of their life.”

PCC’s graduation ceremony will be held May 18 at 7 p.m. in the Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit events/graduation-ceremony.

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