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WGU Graduate Speaker, Jacqueline Becerra

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Jacqueline Becerra
Western Governors University
<p>September 15, 2018 WGU Regional Commencement at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitutional Hall in Washington, D.C. Jacqueline Becerra earned her Master of Science - Nursing, Management and Leadership degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Thank you, Ted. And now we have the privilege of hearing from two graduates. They are Jacqueline Becerra, from San Antonio, Texas, who is receiving her Master's in Nursing Leadership and Management. And Karla Ortiz Flores from Chicago, Illinois, who is receiving her Master's in Management and Leadership. Please join me in welcoming first to the lectern, Jacqueline. [Applause] </p> <p>Jacqueline Becerra: Wow. I just want you to turn around and tell your neighbor, you look amazing today. [Chuckles] </p> <p>Wow, you know, it is an honor today, and I can confirm that we all share something in common we did it, and quitting was not an option, right? [Applause] So today, when our names are recognized and day becomes night, we have just created history. What an awesome place to create history today, right? </p> <p>And like an open book, we are ready to move on to the next chapter of our professions. And so first and foremost, I want to thank God for making this happen. I want to thank my husband for being the backbone of my success, and I want to thank my family and friends that are here with me today to support and celebrate the accomplishment of today. Thank you. And I also want to thank you WGU for making it happen, right? I mean they are such an organized professional organization, and I really appreciate that from them. Amen. </p> <p>I am honored here to share with you my personal life and my experience. I come from a single parent home, and in my tradition, women were to stay home. My mom struggled by being physically abused by my father. And mom's family persecuted her for that and said, "You need to stay with him. That's the way it is. You just got to be obedient to him." And so I also remember as a young girl sleeping in my grandmother's house, and feeling the cold, wooden I would sleep on the wooden floors and I would feel the cold air just coming up from the floor of outside of the house. And we had no options, so that was the choice that we had to live there and live through it because it was better than living out on the streets. </p> <p>I watched my mom struggle two jobs just to keep my brother and I clothed, fed, and sheltered. And so that was really hard for me. Not enough food, not enough money for school clothes, and moving home to home, I can tell you really what poverty looks like, feels like, and tastes like. And so, my brother and I would even walk around the streets during the summer days and we would look for change on the floors and in the vending machines just to look for something to eat. You know, because my mom had to work. And so, in the summers, we had nothing to eat. So we would look for money, spare change, just to see what we can find enough to eat. </p> <p>And so, I made a decision though that you know, I really never understand why these things happen to me as a child, but I know that it made me a stronger person, the person that I am today. And so, I made a decision a long time ago, not to let the negative experiences of life hold me back from who I am called to be. [Applause] Thank you. </p> <p>I believe that life's circumstances should not limit one's thinking or making a difference in others' lives. I truly believe everyone has a story here today, whether it's negative or whether it's positive, whether it's weak, or whether it's strong. But it's all up to the person to decide how they're going to let it affect their life. And I, myself had moments of wanting to quit, but I knew it was not an option. It was hard, but quitting was not an option. It was frustrating. I had frustrating nights, but quitting was not an option. </p> <p>But, because I did not choose to quit, I became passionate about the health care and non profit organizations to make a difference in people that are in need. And in my professional life as a nurse, I care for my patients, my co workers, my employees, my colleagues with fervent and equal compassionate care and love. And so I have been a nurse for 17 years. For four years I have been in a leadership role with Tenet Healthcare Corporation. And I'm grateful that Tenet Healthcare Corporation saw leadership capacity in me that they were willing to say that out of a 130,000 employees, I was the 20th employee that they selected to invest into my bachelor's and master's degree. [Applause] </p> <p>Earning my degree at WGU has given me a steppingstone to continue into the administrative world of health care today. The courses at WGU have expanded my knowledge and understanding in terms of administration portion of my career. In addition to my career, I needed to be involved in my community and so for the last 12 years, my husband and I have worked with our organization called Hope and Life Centers. We have 155 centers worldwide. And these centers are where we coordinate food distribution and clothing distribution as well as teaching them sustainability in other foreign countries. </p> <p>In these centers, the shelters that we provide are for victims of sex trafficking, starting from the ages of six all the way up. We rescue countless children. You hear so many stories about how they were rescued and how they were brought to the center. The center is an oasis of love, shelter, education, nutrition, and medical care. We also serve the organization by coaching and mentoring and empowering and providing emotional support for these children and young adults. [Applause] </p> <p>We know the value of a college degree and our main focus is to create scholarship opportunities to ensure that the children have access for higher education. I am blessed, I am so blessed that I am now in a position where I can positively impact someone else's life, someone that is in need, someone that needs the coaching, someone that needs the mentoring. I will also continue to push forward in my career and my humanitarian efforts. I will help lead the way for those in need and above all, I will continue to become a better person for myself, for my family, and my community. Thank you again. [Applause] </p>
Western Governors University
© 2018 Western Governors University – WGU. All Rights Reserved.
Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)