ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Graduating from college is an exciting milestone for many students but it can also be very nerve wracking when it comes to figuring out 'what's next?' It was not too long ago that a couple in Orono found themselves in the same position. However, their successful journey has made them this year's commencement speakers.

The story begins at the University of Maine in Orono nearly 18 years ago, when Abe Furth first laid eyes on Heather.

“It didn't seem that she was all that interested in me,” he said.

“He tried to charm me by asking me to go on this motorcycle trip across country,” said Heather. “I said yes mostly to call his bluff.”

However, the two saw it through and the rest was history.

“I think that's representative of our whole relationship that when we put our mind to something, we work hard to achieve it,” said Heather.

The couple has been happily married for almost 13 years. During that time, they have risked it all by opening several businesses which continue to thrive today. Their success has earned their alma mater's recognition.

“It was a huge honor and we took it very seriously and hope that we helped to inspire the kids a bit,” said Heather.

Being chosen as this year's commencement speakers was an accomplishment they never dreamed of.

“No that wasn't anything I ever thought of, this came as a surprise,” said Abe.

But they left the graduates with three secrets to their success: to push their boundaries,
define their own version of success, and pursue their dreams right away.

“It’s daunting, it's very easy to tell yourself you don't have enough experience, but the only way to surmount that is by taking on that challenge all the way and seeing it through. That's what's worked for us,” said Heather.

After all, she said, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.