This 6-minute graduation speech from a student with autism is a must watch.

At Plano Senior High School's graduation, Sef Scott gave an honest and vulnerable speech.

Scott said that simply stepping on stage to address his classmates in Texas was a surprise. During his six-minute speech, he openly shared intimate details about his autism and social communication disorder.

"Just by being here speaking to all of you — me — that alone is unexpected," he said. "While I have the vocabulary that you do, and I have the ability to produce spoken words, it is not a normal feat for me to electively speak."


His address was full of wisdom, humor, and useful suggestions for embracing the "unexpected" in life.

But it was also a powerful reminder that it's OK to be yourself. And that message clearly resonated.

His classmates and those in attendance responded with powerful applause. And they aren't alone. The video of his speech gathered nearly 500,000 views in the first 48 hours since it appeared on Facebook.

Plano Senior High's Sef Scott's Graduation 2018 Speech: "Unexpected"

#Graduation2018 Happy to share this "unexpected" moment from Saturday's Plano Senior High graduation...certainly the most applauded speech of the day. Sef Scott, Class of 2018.

Posted by Plano Independent School District on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Scott says he was inspired to give the speech because of his brother.

Scott told the audience that his brother is a brain tumor survivor who has given dozens of speeches to children's charities. It was his brother's own commitment to service that helped inspire him to stand in front of his classmates and open up about his life.

He said his brother and mom helped "line by line" in crafting his address, which also weaved in jokes and suggestions for simple kind acts that can change people's days, like letting a person go ahead of you in line. "That simple gesture could brighten what might have been a gloomy day," he said.

Image via Plano Senior High/Facebook.

Scott's speech was a moment of sharing about himself to remind that everyone has their own story to tell.

He reminded his classmates that they all have unique experiences and that no one is any single label.

"In front me, I see athletes, musicians and scholars along with shy loners and class clowns," he said. "Many of you fit into more than one of those categories. At the same time, plenty of us have something that makes us all unique. What a wonderful mix."

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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