CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Coral Springs teen Lorraine Angelakos had hoped to bring superstar actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to speak at her graduation at Pompano Beach High School.
The school’s senior class president wrote a letter to Johnson, telling him that she was inspired by his early-life story of being down to his last $7 before being cut from the Canadian Football League and using the moment to change his life path.
Johnson clearly got her message.
This week, he posted a nearly 13-minute Facebook video that’s been viewed more than 600,000 times, saying he got Angelakos’ letter and would have come to the graduation if not for the coronavirus.
He read the letter to his audience, got emotional at times, and said he is sending her $7 as a “down payment” for his costs to make it.
Johnson said: “I asked the question a few weeks ago to our nation’s leadership and I said, ‘where are you?’”
Holding up Angelakos’ letter, he said into the camera: “Here you are. Lorraine, you and your fellow graduates of Pompano Beach High School, and (other seniors) around our country and around our world, for that matter, you are, you are the empathetic and compassionate leaders who will lead us.”
Perhaps it’s not unusual that Angelakos got Johnson’s attention. She’s known for her community service through her nonprofit Lolo’s Cocoa which promotes goodwill and advocacy for mental illness and teen suicide prevention. She also attended the 2020 U.S. Senate Youth Program.
She couldn’t be reached Wednesday as news broke about Johnson’s viral video.
What got Johnson emotional was the part in Angelakos’ letter about his struggles in life. He read her words: “Like you, I believe the same. As one door closes, another opens. You just have to have the drive and willpower to go through that next door and give it your all.”
He said the letter knocked him “off his feet. It set me down. Because it’s not what Lorraine is saying. It’s how she’s saying it.”
Know a story we should share with our readers? Email editor Leon Fooksman (email@example.com) and tell him about it.