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Katie Holmes Delivers Empowering Commencement Speech At University of Toledo— ‘You Deserve Joy’

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Katie Holmes returned to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio, on May 4 to deliver a commencement speech to students at the University of Toledo. While the actress personally chose acting over school, her older brother Martin graduated from the college. Scroll for more on her empowering speech.

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Katie, 40, told the audience, “Don’t be intimidated about that first job or internship or audition. And if you get it, well I have some tips for what you’ll need when you’re first starting out.”

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Referencing her move from Toledo to Dawson’s Creek’s filming location in Wilmington, North Carolina she said, “If you’re moving out, make sure you have what you need to feel comfortable.”

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She continued, “We live in a country where we have so many options, and for so many people in the world, our worst days would almost be a dream come true for them. Try to continue your education for yourself on your own terms.”

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Katie told the graduates, “If people believe in you, it makes you want to believe in yourself, and vice versa. People react to your confidence.” She then joked, “I’ve been tricking folks for years into believing I’m other characters, and I haven’t gotten caught yet! Guys, it’s all fake!”

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The actress also took a moment to encourage women to stick together. “For the young women in the audience, I want to encourage you to lift up, listen to, and trust one another. I would not have been able to direct the films I’ve directed without a chorus of talented, creative, and brilliant women to give me support. Women need each other now more than ever, to continue the fight over equal pay, mutual respect and the war against systemic abuse and mistreatment,” she said.

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Katie admitted she wasn’t sure Dawson’s Creek would have continued success but she worked extra during that time despite the threat of cancellation. She said, “The odds were totally stacked against me, but guess what — the odds are stacked against everybody.”

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She ended her message, “So if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. You are the person who’s going to go out there and make things happen for yourself. And that’s a terrifying and amazing responsibility. You deserve joy — not in 10 years, but now. So try to be equal parts tough and gentle with yourself. Take things one step at a time. Work hard when no one is looking. And don’t let anybody say you never called them back.”

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What do you think about the advice Katie gave? Sound off in the comments below!

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