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WGU Graduate Speaker, Alex John, Winter 2010

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Alex John, Winter 2010
Western Governors University
<p>Alex John was selected as a graduation speaker for WGU's Winter 2010 Commencement. Alex is from Burlington, WA.</p> <p>Alex John earned her Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Thank you. Abraham Lincoln once said to always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is far more important than any one thing. In September of 2008, I made the resolution to succeed when I became a student at Western Governors University.</p> <p>Like all of my fellow graduates, I had a dream for my future. For me, the dream was to become a teacher. I can still remember being seven years old, lining up every stuffed animal that I owned, and teaching them their alphabet and anything else that I was learning in school at the time. I remember my mom telling me that I couldn't force my little sister to do multiplication at three years old or be my student for hours at a time. Teaching is my passion, and Western Governors University helped to make it a reality. I'm so happy to be able to stand here today and share my story with you.</p> <p>While looking for a university, I faced a few challenges, some of which I am sure that my fellow classmates can relate to. For starters, I was newly married with a fulltime job that I loved and I needed. I had left the nest of my parents' home, and to expect them to fund my whole education, along with my wedding, seemed a little overboard. I needed a college that worked around my life and one that I could afford. With the traditional colleges in my area being rather pricy, and with a new house and a new mortgage payment, I can honestly say that when a friend referred me to WGU, I was not only excited, but I was relieved. Because of WGU, I was able to work, be home for dinner, and take a day off if I was sick, all without stressing about tuition and making up class hours. I am so thankful to WGU that college was able to be a part of my life, rather than my life being college.</p> <p>Everyone carries college memories with them. Hopefully, most of them are fond ones. I have so many excellent memories of WGU, and I am proof that you don’t have to physically attend a college to have a full experience with wonderful memories. What I will likely remember the most from my experience is the support I got from mentor, Jamie Bingham. She was always there for me when I needed her, and whether I was emailing her in a panic or stalking her voicemail, she was always there to reassure me and keep me on track. I am so grateful to her and all that she has done for me. </p> <p>I will also remember the ways that WGU helped me grow as a professional, not just through assignments and tasks or papers, but through real life, hands-on experiences in my field. My demonstration teaching experience, or student teaching as it is commonly known, allowed me to spend time in a real classroom and put what I had learned to use. I made valuable connections with my community during that time, and I owe much of that to Western Governors University and their program. </p> <p>It may sound funny to say that I made many friends and made new acquaintances going to an online college, especially when I have never even seen most of their faces until this weekend. But I do believe that I met some amazing fellow students during my journey that I worked closely with, especially during my student teaching experience. WGU kept students connected with one another, either through online communities or through cohorts that participated in conference calls together. While I did feel like my school and mentor cared for me on a personal level, and while I always had my independent goals and milestones, I never once felt alone. I always knew that there were classmates out there ready to talk to me or help me if I needed them, if they lived across the United States.</p> <p>I leave Western Governors University feeling confident, competent, and most of all, motivated. I am proud of my accomplishments, and I am proud of Western Governors University for helping me get this far. I believe that all of my classmates and I have received an excellent education and training, and that we are ready to enter the workplace. I would be lying if I didn't also admit that I am excited beyond belief to start this next chapter in my life. I can fully say that I am now a teacher, and Western Governors University helped to make it possible. I can also say that I have grown up from that bossy seven-year-old teacher, and I no longer tie my sisters and cousins and chairs to make them learn, nor do I do that with my current students. [Chuckling]</p> <p>I have been waiting to teach for a long time, and with a lot of hard work and support, WGU helped me get there at only 21 years old. My story may be similar to my fellow graduates, or it may be completely different. However, we are all alike in at least one way. We all made the resolution, and we succeeded.</p> <p>I stand here today not only proud that I have reached my destination, but proud of each one of my fellow students that have made it through this challenging but very rewarding journey. Together, we can celebrate not only our success but the knowledge that this is certainly not the end, but it's rather a new beginning. Congratulations, Western Governors University class of 2010.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)