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Berto Aguayo ’16 was the class speaker during Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law 2024 Convocation Ceremony.

Aguayo received his Juris Doctor from Pritzker School of Law on May 10 and addressed his fellow JD graduates during the program. 

“I stand on this stage overwhelmed with gratitude for the village, the community that raised me and made this moment possible,” he told the audience in an inspiring speech looking back on his troubled youth and the help he received from others that led him to pursue a life of purpose.

The first in his family to attend college, Aguayo is the co-founder and executive director of Increase the Peace, an organization dedicated to violence prevention, mentorship, and connecting youth to job opportunities and civic leadership training. Upon completion of the bar exam, Aguayo plans to transition to the board of directors of Increase the Peace and join the law firm of K&L Gates.

Aguayo graduated from Dominican University with high honors and bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics.

Watch Aguayo’s speech here, beginning at the 1 hour, 53-minute mark.