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WGU Graduate Speaker, Jacqueline Zappey

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Jacqueline Zappey
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Graduate Jacqueline Zappey spokes at the WGU Master's Commencement in Seattle, Washington.</p> <p>Jacqueline Zappey earner her Master of Science, Curriculum and Instruction degree.</p> <p>Transcript of video:</p> <p>Jacqueline Zappi: My theory is about moments, moments of impact. My theory is that these moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity, that completely turn our lives upside down, actually end up defining who we are. This is a quote I reference a lot from my favorite movie The Vow. </p> <p>I want to begin by thanking everyone who’s here to celebrate this momentous occasion with us, family, friends, and faculty. A special thank you to those who made my one of my defining moments possible, my husband Jacob, our parents, our children, best friends, students, and WGU mentor Nichol, who believed in me even when the going was tough and I wanted to give up. </p> <p>My name is Jacqueline Zappi. Some of my defining moments were when I became a mother to four beautiful children, a teacher, joined the Navy, and married my husband who is a Navy veteran. Also, as of today, along with my fellow peers, a master’s graduate. </p> <p>This is one of those moments of impact in all of our lives. I know I’m not alone when I say I will never forget all of those days and nights after submitting my work to Task Stream, where I sat and refreshed the screen for what felt like the 100th time to see if I passed. Any other person might have thought I was crazy, but my husband Jacob knew this process all too well, as he is also a WGU alum. </p> <p>You see, two years ago I sat in these very stands that you’re sitting in today and heard a commencement speech that forever changed my life. A speech that led me here. My moments of impact began when I was a young child. My mom, Christy, was a single mother of three, all of us one year apart, and we grew up very poor. Despite us not having a car or very much money, my mom pushed my two younger siblings in a stroller when I walked alongside them. She would drop us off at daycare a mile away in the hot Phoenix sun every day. She’d then cross the road to get to her job where she worked as a caregiver in a hospital. </p> <p>I can still remember that moment as a six-year-old girl when my mom was finally able to buy a car. We crawled in through the windows, as the doors didn’t work. And although it didn’t have heat or A/C, we had each other and we had a car. Thanks to my mom my life motto has become, when there’s a will, there’s a way. Then around the time I was seven she met an amazing man who loved us as his own and taught us that hard work eventually leads to success. </p> <p>Since I was little I’ve always had the dream of giving my university’s commencement address, but that meant I actually had to go to college and the parents that I grew up with in my house did not have a college degree. I’m a proud first-generation graduate. [Applause] </p> <p>At 17, I decided to enlist in the United State Navy. Graduating boot camp at 18 was another defining moment in my life. I knew then I was destined to do great things and make an impact on others the way that my parents and teachers had on me. Because of the values instilled in me while I was in the Navy, I was able to overcome my adversities with honor, courage, and commitment. </p> <p>During my time in service I met my husband on the U.S.S. John C. Stennis, an aircraft carrier here in Washington. After serving our country honorably we both pursued our bachelors and master’s degrees, respectively, in education, and became teachers. We wanted our children and students, our future generations, to know the importance of education, and that they, too, can make their dreams come true with hard work and determination. We want them to know that earning a degree can really pay-off. </p> <p>Fast forward to 2013, I was working on my bachelor’s degree at a traditional brick and mortar school and I was pregnant with my son Brock. I gave birth to him on a Thursday and four days later I was back in classes so I could graduate on time and not have to wait to finish them a year later. In contrast, in 2016 I enrolled with WGU after hearing that commencement speech that lead me here today. </p> <p>Last April we welcomed our fourth child, Bronson. Because of WGU’s flexibility, I was able to take as much time as I wanted to bond with him. I was able to work on my courses while he was napping or in bed for the night along with the other three children. With WGU I didn’t have to worry about making those sacrifices I had to make the first time, because the flexibility allowed me to a mother, a wife, teacher, and student all on my own schedule. </p> <p>As you can tell, I’ve had many of these moments of impact that I spoke about earlier. All of us here today have had our own defining moments of impact, and yet, we have all overcome our adversities to make our dreams come true. </p> <p>Fellow graduates, I want you to remember that this is just the beginning for us. The knowledge, challenges, and experiences we have gained from our past will allow us to move forward with our future journeys. We should all be proud of the hard work, grit, and determination we put in to get to this point. </p> <p>Remember, we have two options in life, sit down and let the world pass us by, or get up and show the world who we are meant to be. Congratulations, Class of 2018, we did it! [Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
© 2018 Western Governors University – WGU. All Rights Reserved.
Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)