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WGU Graduate Speaker, Codie Sprinkle

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Codie Sprinkle
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Commencement in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 3, 2019. Codie Sprinkle earned her Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Thank you so much, Ken, for those inspiring words. And now we have the privilege of hearing from two graduates. They are Veronica Etier, Bachelor of Science, Business Management from Mercer Island, Washington. As well as she will be followed by Codie Sprinkle, Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies from Mary, North Carolina. Please join me in welcoming first to the lectern, Veronica. [Applause]</p> <p>Codie Sprinkle: My educational journey started a long time ago, when I saw those two pink lines telling me I was expecting my first child. I was 20, looking at the world with fresh eyes. And although she was planned, my future was not. I was living in an overpriced two bedroom apartment with my then husband, and our roommate, and I knew I had to do better for my daughter. I wanted her to have a strong female role model, and someone that she could be proud of.</p> <p>So I enrolled in a medical program that was only concerned with money, following in the CNA footsteps of pretty much everyone in my family. There was no weekly phone calls, no check ins, no support, nothing remotely close to the WGU experience. After my daughter was born, I was consumed with her safety. I dropped the medical program and the college, and I told myself that I would follow her throughout her educational journey and keep my hands in the entire process.</p> <p>So I went on the hunt for a decent school to achieve my goal and that's when I stumbled upon WGU and witnessed first hand their dedication to their students and education wise, WGU was the best decision I ever made. Every week my mentor support constantly reconfirmed that decision. I looked at my degree plan thinking, "I will never get through this. I will never finish this. No one in my family has ever earned a degree. How could I possibly do this?" I've never been a quitter and I've always been headstrong and goal oriented, and some would even say stubborn.</p> <p>I made a promise to myself that I would finish my bachelor's degree, that I would show my daughter that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything. And little did I know that would be the hardest promise I would ever have to keep. Fast forward a few years later, we were expecting our second child. And even though we had planned him, my then husband and I were not on the same page anymore. I was two months pregnant and homeless with my four year old daughter. We bounced around from couch to couch, but nothing was permanent to call our home.</p> <p>I had completed my assignments on my cell phone, testing at family's houses, using their Wi Fi, and the entire time my mentor was there pushing me to succeed. Around seven months pregnant I reconnected with an old friend that I had met in grade school. He was my knight in shining armor, and he was a godsend, my biggest cheerleader, supporting me every step of the way. Together, we worked hard to buy our land, and put down a down payment on our own home. All of this while maintaining on time progress.</p> <p>Three years and three kids later we were expecting our fourth child. She was due in August, and my demonstration teaching was starting in September, the last thing on my to do list. I had finally made it to the end of the degree plan. However, on August 5th, one day before our wedding anniversary, six days before our daughter was born, and a month before my demonstrative teaching was to start, my husband and I stood there in desperation as we watched everything we worked so hard for go up in flames in a matter of 27 minutes.</p> <p>But even with all of this, I kept my head in the curriculum, pushing forward with my husband and my mentor's support. The following month I prepared for my demonstrative teaching to start, only to hit yet another roadblock. This one causing me to enter term break and reschedule my demonstrative teaching until January. My husband and I got the devastating news that our two year old son had to have brain surgery for Arnold Chiari Malformation.</p> <p>During term break we nursed our son back to health, and bought our new home and settled back in on Christmas Eve. January, 2018, I started my demonstrative teaching and I knew that I had made the right choice. I was in the homestretch when March rolled around, and everything seemed to be falling into place. That was, until I got the phone call that no one wants to get.</p> <p>My step mother, one of the most amazing women who raised me, was about to be removed from life support. Her battle with cancer was over. I held her hand and sang to her, and the next day she passed away. The day after she passed away, I returned to school and found my desk covered in handmade cards. They were all wishing me peace through all of this. My students didn't know anything about me other than what they had seen for the last three months, but our bond was very clear. That was the moment that I realized that I wasn't just proving to my kids that you can achieve anything through hard work and dedication, I was proving it to my students as well.</p> <p>Throughout this journey, it's been very clear that God was there giving me the support and resources I needed to push through my hardships. Because of Him, I'm able to stand there today with my head held high stand here today, not there graduating from the best school ever. And none of it would've been remotely possible about God, my husband, my family that loaned out their Wi Fi, and the support of WGU.</p> <p>Because of the WGU curriculum, I'm able to walk into any school prepared to do my job to the fullest extent. And I'm also able to take on my master's program this month, confident to see it through and achieve yet another goal. And I just wanted to say that every one of ya'll should be very proud because this is a very hard accomplishment, and we are really frickin' awesome. So, good job 2019! [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)