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WGU Graduate Speaker, Joshua O'Nishea

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Joshua O'Nishea
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Graduate Joshua O'Nishea spoke at the WGU Master's Commencement in Austin, Texas. Joshua O'Nishea earned his Master of Science, Education Leadership degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Dr. Steven E. Johnson: And now we have the real distinct privilege of hearing from two of you, two graduates. Joshua O'Nishea, Master of Science in Educational Leadership, and Latrivia Guinn, Master of Science in Nursing Education. Following their speeches, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Marni Baker Stein will confer your degrees. Please join me in welcoming the first to the lectern, Joshua. </p> <p>Joshua O'Nishea: Good morning. I'm a Master of Science graduate in Educational Leadership. However, it is my trials in life that led me to this point that I wish to share with you today. </p> <p>As a sophomore in high school, I found myself living in a house with no utilities, as my parents had recently separated, leaving me behind to find my own way. Too young to be employed in the state of Louisiana, and unwilling to give up those extracurricular activities like football that make high school so fun, I dealt with this the best I could. </p> <p>I can remember those nights where I'd go to McDonald's just so that I could clean myself because I was too scared or embarrassed to ask for help or let any of my friends know about my situation. As the time passed, this became the norm for my high school life. In my senior year I remember breaking apart copper batteries to get the wire from the inside to take to the scrap yard so that way my girlfriend would not have to miss out on opportunities that I had to. </p> <p>Now, there were several chances for me to escape from these problems, but instead I learned to deal with these mishaps. They fueled me to gain a small academic scholarship through the state of Louisiana called TOPS, and graduated on time with all of my friends who still to this day really don't know exactly what I had gone through. </p> <p>Shortly after graduating my girlfriend and I moved down just down the road in a small rental. Not long after that we welcomed our first child into the world, and it was at that moment that I knew that I had to do whatever necessary to provide for my son so that he would not have to grow up like I did. I went to the local university on grants and scholarships, while ensuring my family was able to live without missing a beat, and working two daytime jobs and one overnight job. </p> <p>Finally, I was able to earn that bachelors degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport in secondary education with a focus in chemistry. </p> <p>After teaching for three years and sharing my story with select students and some friends I decided to continue on in my education, and that is what led me to WGU. Now, with the help of the faculty and staff, the students who participated in those discussion board questions, those weekly calls from my student mentor, John Lydon, I was able to earn my degree. </p> <p>Now today I stand before you and five very especially people in my life. That girlfriend at the time, she's my wife today. Her name's Jessica. I love her with all my heart. And she stayed with me even when I had nothing to offer. Our three sons, Seth, Satchel, and Benjamin [Applause] and our one daughter, my little princess, Isabelle. [Applause] </p> <p>Now I stand here not because of me, but because of them. I also stand here because of my parents. Regardless of the situation that I was dealt, they provided when I was young, and now they are the most fabulous grandparents I could ever ask for to our children. [Applause] </p> <p>I learned at a young age that life can bring you down, way down, but it's never gonna take you out. That's the reason that I chose education was to make sure that the kids understood just that. See, life can throw you a curve ball, and you can do one of two things. You can let that misfortune define you, and ruin your life, or you can overcome, learn from the obstacles, and become a better person. </p> <p>Being an educator, a science educator specifically, is way more than teaching kids about molecular masses and atonic theories. It's about being a role model for kids to see that success is possible, regardless of what you've been given. Throughout this journey in education I'm sure that we've all endured some tough times, and maybe at times questioned our decisions, but we made it, and today shows that it was all worth it. </p> <p>My degree and experiences throughout my educational journey have without a doubt made me a better person. And back home, at Haughton High School there's several of the teachers watching this video that voted for me for the 2018 2019 Teacher of the Year at Haugthon high School in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. [Applause] </p> <p>With the degree that I've earned, I've entered into a small pool of applicants to move into an educational leadership positions within my school district. Firth furthermore, I'm able to show people just how important education really is with a master's degree that I've earned through Western Governors University. </p> <p>I now hope to continue my educational journey and pursue a specialist degree towards superintendancy and continue down this path of success that was set by the foundations of mishaps and experiences that led me to be the man that I am today. Thank you. [Applause] </p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)