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In a commencement speech at Virginia Tech, Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke about the importance of mentors and a moral compass while criticizing “group-think” in higher education. Youngkin is the ninth consecutive Virginia governor to give the school’s commencement address in the first year of his term, according to a March announcement.

“I firmly believe that each of you has been divinely created for a purpose,” Youngkin said in the Friday speech. “If you unlock the mysteries of your gifts, you will unlock your purpose. In society today, there’s such a great emphasis on achieving happiness. Yale University even pioneered a class on finding happiness. But all the great thinkers that I have read, have said, and actually I’ve learned from my own experiences, that happiness is fleeting. It’s finding purpose that’s truly sustaining.”

“Here’s what I believe: seek your purpose and you will find happiness. Seek happiness, and you will find neither,” he said.

Youngkin’s speech was similar to one he delivered a week before at Regent University, a private Christian school, although Youngkin didn’t include as many explicitly religious remarks in his Virginia Tech speech. Both speeches included criticism of higher-ed conformity.

The crowd applauded when Youngkin criticized “too much intolerance that rears its head in the form of a cancel-culture at the first hearing of alternative views.”

Youngkin said, “We have lost the ability for civil discourse. We’ve lost the ability to disagree and to find a way forward instead of creating enemy combatants out of friends. All of you graduating today have an opportunity to reintroduce the concept of grace in public discourse, the even if we disagree, even if we disagree mightily, we can hear one another.”

“Current culture reinforces self-obsession and results in judgement rather than reinforcing shared values, shared values that unite us. It’s the shared values of Virginia Tech that unite all of you today. You go forth as representatives, as ambassadors of this renowned campus, which has trained leaders for generations. Your journey starts here,” he said.

– – –

Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Virginia Tech. 



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Sophia Grace and Rosie: Where are they now?

CHILD superstars Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland went viral on social media more than a decade ago.

The YouTube sensations garnered even more popularity when they performed Nicki Minaj's Super Bass during their television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

2Sophia Grace and Rosie have come a long way from hosting Tea Time and red carpets on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Where are Sophia Grace and Rosie now?

In the wake of their social media fame and TV stardom from Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie have taken advantage of many showbiz opportunities.

Both former child stars are now online influencers and upcoming entertainers.

Sophia Grace, now aged 19, owns her own clothing line.

On February 27, 2019, she launched LoLo London, a fashion brand designed to be "a voice and a brand for anyone working hard to achieve something positive in their lives, our brand is influenced by the talented and positive youth of today."

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In a press release at the time, the creator stated: "I’m really into smart-casual wear right now and think this collection reflects my personal style at the moment."

"The most amazing part about the design process is interacting with my social media followers, I love reading the comments and dm’s to see what color or style is their favorite."

Sophia also shouted out her pal Ellen and fellow star Nicki Minaj in her statement to the press.

"I can’t wait to gift Ellen a hoodie, I think she will look great in the white hoodie as I’ve seen her wearing white before and it really suits her."

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"I’m also going to be sending a Sunset Orange hoodie to Nicki Minaj and a White Hoodie to Ariana Grande.

"I’ve already sent a Sunset Orange hoodie to my cousin Rosie and she loves it."

Rosie, turning 16 on September 7, updates her fans through her social media profiles.

On TikTok, Rosie amassed over 39million views and has over 776,000 followers on Instagram.

2The two singers and social media influencers came back to Ellen and chatted about 'where it all started'Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Taking on a music career, she premiered her first single Handstand in 2018.

In 2022, she released another single, Safe in Your Love, to coincide with her and Sophia Grace's return to The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

When did Sophia Grace and Rosie return to Ellen?

On May 12, 2022, Sophia Grace and Rosie stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Their appearance marked more than 10 years since they first came on the program on October 12, 2011.

While donning their trademark tutus and tiaras, the duo caught up with Ellen on Thursday, May 12, and the three commemorated their shared history on the talk series.

During the segment, the three reminisced as Sophia Grace said: "We were so nervous, that was such a good montage. We haven't seen anything like that recently."

Rosie also shared: "My first memory...the first thing I remember is obviously Nicki Minaj coming out."

"I didn't know who she was until it clicked that Sophia was singing her song all of the time."

The English duo also discussed how their YouTube cover of Super Bass came to be in the first place.

Sophia Grace recalled: "As a child, I always used to play dress up."

"I was dressing up, and Rosie's favorite costume happened to be The Virgin Mary — you know, Mary and Jesus," to which Ellen comically replied "Yeah, I heard of her," which brought on laughter from the studio audience.

Sophia Grace continued: "I was around and Rosie was wearing the outfit."

"I kept singing Nicki Minaj all the time and my Auntie, Rosie's mom, was the only one who had an iPhone."

"She said 'Why don't we film it? Rosie, quickly get out of the Virgin Mary outfit and get into that outfit.'"

The three took a stroll down memory lane as they looked back on hosting red carpets, releasing their first book, and meeting celebrities such as Taylor Swift, One Direction, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Drake, and of course - Nicki Minaj.

As Sophia Grace and Rosie gave viewers the scoop on their respective music careers, Ellen asked the two, "Would it be too much to ask to do Super Bass one last time?"

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The former child star duo granted her request and the two took the stage for one last rendition of the aforementioned song.

Ellen's show will come to an end on May 26, 2022, which means that Thursday's broadcast was their last appearance on the program.

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