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Today is the First Day....

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I heard that quote somewhere and it has stayed with me. I believe the quote is flawed, because no matter who you are or where you go the past will always be a part of you. However, if we meet our pasts with our heads up and shoulders squared then it cannot defeat us. Every step, every second, every person has helped shape us into who we are. It is up to us to choose what we keep and what we reject.

Tomorrow I graduate from Southeast Missouri State University, Magna Cum Laude, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Political Science. I will start this fall at University of Missouri Columbia School of Law. It is an exciting time but also terrifying. I built a wonderful life in this quaint little town and have loved living in the house I made my home. However, I know I have the determination and drive to make change in this world and furthering my education will allow me to move forward.

I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for supporting me. There were moments when I felt like I was drowning, yet your support and encouragement raised me to new heights. I would not be where I am or WHO I am without each and every one of you. You have given me so much. I know I still have a long road of work and study ahead of me, but to whom much is given much is owed.

Thank you!


Congratulations and happy graduation! It's such a wonderful accomplishment. I remember my graduation day from my boarding school was the happiest day of my life. I was so proud of how far I'd come and what I'd accomplished as a student there.

I was thinking of a quote earlier. God puts us in each other's lives to impact one another. I sometimes look for that in my misfortunes, but also in my blessings. Thank you for being a part of my life.

I know that God brought me here to interact with all of you. We all have a purpose here.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.