Education Sec. Miguel Cardona encourages college grads, talks Latino upbringing – NBC News

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, one of four Latinos in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, urged college graduates to embrace their uniqueness as their “superpower” to accomplish their career and life goals.

Cardona addressed new University of Connecticut graduates in a recorded speech taped Friday and played Saturday at their virtual 2021 commencement. The ceremony took place at UConn’s football stadium where the college awarded nearly 8,200 degrees.

He praised the students for their pandemic-related work, citing the work of students from the School of Pharmacy who became contract tracers and learned to administer vaccines, as well as students from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources’ Extension who distributed thousands of gallons of milk and dairy products to food pantries across the state.

Cardona advised graduates to power their dreams with their unique personal traits.

“Whether you have ADHD, are differently abled, moved to this country later in life, speak with an accent, grew up on poverty or are LGBTQ, embrace your uniqueness and use it to find your purpose. When you find that purpose, make the pursuit of your purpose greater than the pursuit of your position,” he said.

Cardona was confirmed as education secretary in March but previously held Connecticut’s top education post as the state’s commissioner of education — the first Latino to hold the role. Yet, when he first attended public schools in Connecticut, he only spoke Spanish.

After Cardona’s Puerto Rican parents moved to the U.S.