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WGU Graduate Speaker, Brett Ford, Winter 2016

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Brett Ford, Winter 2016
Western Governors University
<p>It may have taken him 27 years, but Brett Ford of Charlotte, North Carolina, finally has his bachelor's degree—and the promotion he deserves that came along with it. And it all started when he saw his wife working on her dream of becoming a teacher. Juggling work, life, family, and school, together, they both became college graduates.</p> <p>Brett Ford earned his Bachelor of Science, Information Technology degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>I have to get this out of the way. Everybody say cheese! [Takes selfie] I'll tag you all. [Laughter]</p> <p>Hello, my name is Brett Ford, and first I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I hope your trip here was pleasant, and you're having a wonderful time. I stand here before you as a WGU graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I could talk to you about how many subnets and hosts you have to have on a slash 20 network. Or maybe some exciting group policy requirements while running Windows Server 2008. But I think I want you to stay awake.</p> <p>I'd like to talk to you about some numbers that have some special meaning to me. If first number I'd like to talk about is 27. That's how many years it took me to get my college graduation. [Applause] I started community college in 1988 with the best of intentions. I had a long, beautiful head of hair, [Laughter] and three years later, with lots of class withdrawals, and 11 credits, I decided I was wasting my time.</p> <p>The next number I'd like to talk to you about is 13. That's how many years my company offered education assistance before I actually used it. My wife was a licensed land surveyor for 17 years, but she was unfulfilled in her profession. She had always said she'd like to be a teacher someday, her mother was a 32 year-retired teacher.</p> <p>In January of 2013, I was watching my wife in her second year in the teacher's college of WGU knock out class after class. I noticed the structure was on her terms and schedule. My wife was going after her dream, and I took a long look in the mirror. I enrolled in WGU in March of 2013. Remember, my life has no remote, you must get up and change it.</p> <p>Twenty one is the next number that's pretty interesting. That's how many competency units I averaged per term in my two and a half year journey to the stage today. [Applause] I don't recommend that number to too many people, but my goal was to graduate with my wife. That's the beauty of the program that WGU offers. You can work at your pace, or you can work at my crazy pace. I'm also thinking I'm thinking of enrolling in master's program in the coming year for Security in Information Technology. [Applause]</p> <p>Two is my favorite number to talk about. It's hard to tell me story without telling my wife's as well. Two means resolve, patience, and commitment to me. That's the number of WGU graduates that are in our household. I received a promotion from my company as a result of my path through WGU. And my lovely life, she's right out here somewhere she also received her goal. As of September the 13th, she is the newest math teacher at Olympic High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. [Applause] Stand up, Madonna. Where you at, Madonna? [Applause]</p> <p>All of us have a unique story to tell, and I urge you to share it. I can't tell you how many times my friends asked me about my courses, was it hard to do, could they do it? Were they too old? All of those things. Then they asked how did I balance everything? And you might be like me, and you had a family. And then you might even have a job. And then you decide to go back to school. Well, the beauty of WGU... [juggles three balls] you can juggle it all. [Applause] And I urge you, share your story, share your story. Thank you.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)