Wendy Kopp Delivers 2022 Princeton University Baccalaureate Address

Photo and video courtesy of Princeton University

On Sunday, May 22, 2022 Teach For All's CEO and Co-founder, Wendy Kopp, delivered the annual Baccalaureate address at Princeton University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1989. Speaking to a crowd of more than 6,000, including graduates and their loved ones, Wendy reflected on her journey—from conceptualizing Teach For America for her senior thesis, to taking the leap and launching it soon after her own graduation, to later addressing educational inequity on a global scale through Teach For All—and shared her hopes for the rising generation that is "more aware of and passionate about tackling injustice than any before."

In her remarks, Wendy shared that while many think of today's young adults as an activist generation, it’s the career choices they’re about to make, and will make in the coming years, that will define them. “In this era there’s more attention than ever, especially among your generation, on personal well-being and finding 'balance,'' she noted. "What I’ve seen is that the highest form of well-being is the exhilaration that comes from immersing ourselves in things that matter. The path to happiness is not balance per se, but rather congruence between the values we hold most dear and where we spend our energy.” 

"My hope is that you will recognize that your time is your biggest asset, and that driven by your values and the purpose of shaping a better future, you will be intentional and conscious about where you put your energy,” Wendy said, encouraging the graduates not to wait to prioritize purposeful work. "Over these decades, I’ve seen that our society’s injustices are solvable, but they are also massive and complex, and it takes a lot of time to make a meaningful impact in the face of them," she explained. "So the path of no regrets is to start early.”

Watch the recording of the address above and read the complete transcript