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WGU Graduate Speaker, Adeela Kiran Shaikh

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Adeela Kiran Shaikh
Western Governors University
<p>Saturday, June 8, 2019 WGU Commencement in Anaheim, California. Adeela Kiran Shaikh was a graduate speaker. Adeela Kiran Shaikh earned a Bachelor of Science, Health Informatics degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Spencer Stewart: And now we have the privilege of hearing from two graduates. They are: Kiran Shaikh, Bachelor of Science, Health Informatics from Chicago, Illinois. And Misty O'Brien, Bachelor of Arts, Special Education, from Spokane Valley, Washington. Please join me in welcoming first to the lectern, Kiran. [Applause] </p> <p>Adeela Kiran Shaikh: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Adeela Kiran Shaikh, and I'm honored to be given this opportunity to share my story today. </p> <p>When I graduated high school in 1990, I was excited and eager to pursue my higher education, to become a pediatrician. But that dream came to an end when two years into my undergrad studies, I was placed into an arranged marriage. </p> <p>As a 18 year old I was excited and thrilled to be planning week long wedding festivities, and I knew I'd get new clothes, jewelry, shoes. That was it for me. Like okay. So the glitz and glamour of a traditional wedding was so appealing that I forgot one simple little fact, that all this would come along with a husband I didn't know, and responsibilities that I was not ready for. </p> <p>I got married at 19, and gave birth to my first daughter at 20. With the support of my family, I enrolled back in school to get the education I so coveted. But soon I realized that married life and mom life would prevent me from finishing my degree, so I had to leave school once again. </p> <p>This was the start of a long and winding path through the pressures of adulthood that would last for more than two decades. Over that time, I had two more beautiful children, and tried several different jobs, including starting a business that did not survive the 2008 recession. Through it all, I was working harder than ever, but we still found ourselves unable to live a financially successful life. </p> <p>Then, in 2015, just a year after my husband had started our second business, tragedy struck and my husband unexpectedly passed away. His death was a very difficult time in my life. I could have given up, but there's a popular Tibetan quote that says, "Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength." So that is what I chose to do. I turned my pain into determination. I knew I had to go back to school, but the question was how? I had two kids in college already. How was I going to pay for my education? Where was I going to find the time for my education? </p> <p>This is when I stumbled upon WGU and began the most powerful journey of my life. It didn't seem possible, but WGU offered the two things that I needed to obtain my degree: Flexibility and affordability. So I decided to apply for WGU's health informatics program. </p> <p>I remember sitting at my coffee table nervously awaiting the decision when I received the email saying that I'd been declined admission due to lack of experience. Thankfully my enrollment counselor sensed my eagerness to enroll, and encouraged me to obtain the necessary health IT certification that I needed, and encouraged me to reapply. </p> <p>I followed his advice, and enrolled in the recommended course the next day. After two months of hard work and determination, I was able to pass my certification and reapply to the program. And to my delight, I was accepted. </p> <p>WGU was a godsend to me. WGU gave me credit for the several classes I had completed at Georgia State, and the competency based structure allowed me to work and finish classes on my own schedule. And to top it all off, I was assigned an awesome mentor who supported me and guided me throughout my entire experience. Thank you, Becky. [Applause] </p> <p>The education from WGU gave me the knowledge and confidence that I had hungered for all my life. Having lost my identity as a young wife, mother, and daughter in law, my education experience allowed me to discover who I was as an individual for the first time. </p> <p>Today, I'm working as a confident director of health informatics. I have a happily married daughter, a beautiful granddaughter, a successful son who is a software engineer, and a determined daughter who is on her way to becoming an accountant. My brother, [Badar?]has been my rock and support during this whole process. I couldn't have made it without you, Badar, thank you so much. [Applause] </p> <p>This has not been an easy journey. I've encountered hurdles, faced fears, and have had both low points and experienced high points. But then, this is what this journey called life is about. </p> <p>As we travel through this excursion, we must remember that fear is self created. We should never let our fear rob our strength. We must stay steadfast towards our goals, and pick ourselves up back every time we fall. My favorite verse from the Koran says, "Verily, with hardship comes ease." We just need to be patient when faced with hardship, and wait for that ease. </p> <p>I thank WGU from the bottom of my heart for making it possible for me to reach out to the stars and fulfill my dreams. Thank you WGU and thank you to every single graduate out there for making it through, guys. We did it! Yay! [Cheers and applause] </p>
Western Governors University
© 2019 Western Governors University – WGU. All Rights Reserved.
Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)