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WGU Graduate Speaker, Diana Rexroat Cardenas, Summer 2013

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Diana Rexroat Cardenas, Summer 2013
Western Governors University
<p>Diana Rexroat Cardenasis a Phoenix, Arizona, resident who has earned her bachelor's degree from Western Governors University's online College of Business as part of the Class of Summer 2013. A mother of four, she tried and tried again to earn a college degree, but traditional educational models never fit her lifestyle. In fact, WGU was her seventh attempt at a bachelor's degree. Her success story was driven by more than a commitment to bettering her life and her family's—it was driven by a promise she made to her father just before he passed away. His sense of humor and his pride in her kept her motivated to get through her tasks and earn that long-delayed dream of being a college graduate. And she did it!</p> <p>Diana Rexroat Cardenas earned her Bachelor of Science, Finance degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Hello everyone. My name is Diana Rexroat Cardenas. And I want to share a little bit about my experience here at WGU B.S. in finance. Before I do that, I want to take a moment to acknowledge this amazing sight. You all look absolutely wonderful. Gosh. It's actually kind of blinding. [Laughter] Does anyone remember the writing prompt we had to complete before being accepted into WGU? I was absolutely scared that I wouldn't get in. What if they tell me I can't write? What if this is my only chance? It's been a while since I'd seriously gone to school. What if too sappy? What if incorrect grammar? What if? What if?</p> <p>I decided four years ago to return to school. This was my seventh attempt at getting my bachelor's. Yes, you heard correctly. Lucky number seventh attempt. I was always too busy to get my degree. Kept flaking out of programs. I just didn't know what to do about my need for higher education. Oh, and before I forget, I have four boys, a wonderful husband, plus more than full-time employment, with 50-hour workweeks at times.</p> <p>My father now comes into the pictures. My best friend. My supporter in all things is now terminally ill. I don't want to scare you, but this part is important, because we all have turning points in our lives that we need to think about. I had promised my dad that I would finish my degree at some point. Six times, broken promises. Right before my dad went into his heavenly slumber like a little girl, I swore up and down that I would finish my degree. I thought this would make everything better. Motivate him to stay alive and not leave me.</p> <p>My dad was a funny man with a strange sense of humor. Well I can tell you he actually laughed in my face. And not just any laugh. It was a hearty laugh. My dad said that I shouldn't make him laugh like that, because it hurt his entire body. And as he laughed a little bit more, he mentioned something to the effect of, "You sure took a fine time to tell me this, honey. I don't think I'll be able to attend your graduation." It was his way of telling me it was his time and he fell eternally asleep shortly after.</p> <p>A year had passed by and I was looking at employee discounts at work. Who doesn't love a good deal, right? I came across Western Governors, but I was looking for my next pair of cool shoes, not going to school. [Laughter] I continued shopping, but something made me go back to WGU's website. Strange. I had never heard of this college. Fully accredited. Inexpensive. Interesting. I then remembered my promise. I looked up, out loud, and said, "Okay, Dad. Whatever. I'll do it. I hope this makes you happy." On a side note, you should have seen my coworkers' faces. "There she goes again talking to herself."</p> <p>I go back to thinking about WGU. Can I do this? Full-time school? Full-time work? Full-time mom and wife? This is a dilemma. How am I going to keep my promise to my dad? I'm just going to have to do it. Other people can do it. Why can't I? My husband, Tom, later that day, another great supporter, tells me, "Yes, I can do this." And yes, I could do this. So I get into WGU. That writing thing we had to do, remember? I receive a call from this real nice sounding lady named [Inaudible], wherever you are. I know you're here somewhere. Mentor extraordinaire. And as Chantal speaks to me for the first time, I'm thinking, "What is this? I have to talk on the phone to this person every week? Really? [Laughter] I'm not liking this phone chit-chat thing." Chantal was and is so nice. I didn't want to hurt her feelings by telling her that I really didn't need her. [Laughter] I could not have been farther from the truth. Chantal, wherever you are, I couldn't have gotten this far without you.</p> <p>I remember Chantal especially when I really couldn't stand it anymore. Telling me I was so close to finishing. That, of course, was three years ago. [Laughter] A few times, she would throw in what I'd call the super zinger. In her sweet voice, "Remember your promise, Diana." And I would think to myself, "Why did I tell her about my dad?" [Laughter] I can't give up.</p> <p>The truth of the matter is, I don't feel I could have reached my promise of a degree without Western Governors. It all came together for me. Family support, self-pace, and the mentoring process. It does work and it really can be done for those of you out there wondering. As seen in the community chat rooms on any given day, the question of how to succeed at WGU, here's the recipe: remember your goal. Why are you here doing this? An incredible mentor who reminds you of your goal every two weeks who doesn't let you give up. A supporter, such as my husband who much to my chagrin would push me to do my homework, and yes, Chantal, wherever you are, you did that, too. Sheer determination to get you through the rough spots. Never give up. WGU's educational setup. They will be supportive on every level, but just remember, sometimes you have to ask for help.</p> <p>I'm a prime example of someone, who at 45 has their degree. Besides my fellow graduates, those of you who may be listening and wondering if you can do this, you absolutely can. My fellow graduates and myself are here as proof. Push yourself. I promise, it is worth it. Congratulations to my classmates and fellow graduates. I sincerely thank you for your time and please give yourselves a pat on the back. We have made it. Oh, one last thing. Dad, I know you're here. We made it. </p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)