Deputy Donny Oen, assigned as the School Resource Officer (SRO) for the Mayer School district, was honored to give the keynote commencement address at the Mayer High School graduation on May 25, 2017. Principal Jeffrey Duncan introduced Deputy Oen and shared that his intent was to show the positive impact this School Resource Deputy has had on the students who consider Deputy Oen a role model in the community.
Some of the points and quotes from the speech given by Deputy Oen follow-
- He thanked the graduate’s parents for supporting their seniors throughout the school year noting that such involvement had an enormous impact as they prepare for the next journey.
- “Some of you are probably asking yourself why a Police Officer is speaking to this graduating class tonight. The Sheriff’s Office has assigned Deputies to the Mayer School since 2000, funded under a State grant. Our duties are to teach students about Law Related Education and being responsible citizens. I have been with this class since their freshman year and have watched them grow over the past four years.”
- Deputy Oen noted it had been 23 years since he graduated from Mayer High School and how things have changed.
- Deputy Oen explained his path since high school – Attending Yavapai College for 2 years and being hired as a YCSO Detention Officer in 1996. The next year he tested for, and attained, the position of deputy sheriff. As he explained in the speech, it was not about the money (noting a relatively low hourly wage at the time), but the opportunity to serve the community. And now as an SRO, he gets to have a direct impact on young minds in the school environment.
- “I don't regret a bit of what I’ve done, and would do it all over again- I haven't failed, I've adapted, and found what makes me happy and fulfills me. So will you. Life doesn't usually follow the plans you lay out for yourself. You will all experience the highs and lows, the difficult and the easy, and unfortunately there may be times with too many difficulties and just not enough smooth sailing. Your true success will be defined by how you handle these times.”
- Deputy Oen shared the story of a doctor who spoke at his graduation. The doctor displayed 2 prosthetic arms and explained he had been electrocuted while working on top of a feed barn. This resulted in the amputation of both hands and forearms. In spite of his injuries, he went on to write 4 books by recording his ideas for others to type. Deputy Oen explained the doctor’s perseverance had a big impact on him since he was not a top student in English and writing at the time.
- He closed, “You're now armed with one of the most important tools needed to forge your path ahead. It's not the diploma itself that counts - it's about what you've learned along the way and what you do with the education you've received in your journey to graduation today. Your future is in your hands - no one else's. Seize this opportunity. Best of luck to the class of 2017.”
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov