This season, several graduation speakers proved to be flashpoints for controversy. Not so at the Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, where Sandra Bullock delighted students Monday with a surprise appearance and speech.
"Eat something green every day," she advised students in her address, noting that the advice she was giving them also applied to her 4-year-old son, Louis. "Do not pick your nose in public. ... How about we just go get a tissue? ... When someone who cares about you hugs you, hug them back with two arms. ... If someone doesn't want to play with you, it's OK. ... Not everybody is going to love us."
The Oscar-winning actress had stayed hidden from the students during the graduation ceremony at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena, clapping along with them prior to her speech.
Bullock took the school under her wing after it was damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Watch her 2010 interview with TODAY's Matt Lauer about her involvement.) She's donated money to help fund band uniforms, athletic equipment, scholarships and even a health clinic at the school, said People magazine. Last year, Bullock was honored with a People's Choice Award for her humanitarian work.
Though Bullock graduated from high school in Arlington, Va., in 1982, she has close ties to the storm-ravaged area — she adopted Louis from New Orleans in 2010 and owns a home in the city's Garden District.
"Go find your joy," she advised students. "It's what you're going to remember in the end.... You're not going to remember how you worried; you're not going to remember the what-ifs.... It's the joy that stays with you. And I want to thank you guys for the amazing joy that Warren Easton brings me every day."