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WGU Graduate Speaker, Tammy Ramsey, Summer 2009

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Tammy Ramsey, Summer 2009
Western Governors University
<p>Tammy Ramsey, a mom and wife, shares her journey of earning her teaching license to become a provider for the family when her husband was unable to work.</p> <p>Tammy Ramsey earned her Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Welcome, everyone, or as we say down South, hey, y'all. [Chuckling] My name is Tammy Ramsey. I am a 41-year-old wife, mother, and now a college graduate. I'll be the first to tell you that public speaking is not my forte. But I am honored and willing to stand here and tell what Western Governors has done in my life. </p> <p>Twenty-four years ago, I graduated from high school. I married and put college plans on hold. I had a wonderful husband and two sweet step-children. I worked a part-time job while my husband, Steve, had a career with the railroad. Life was great. Six years later, after we married, our youngest daughter, Molly, was born prematurely, and I became a stay-at-home-mom. </p> <p>Still in the back of my mind, I dreamed of going to college and earning a degree. When our daughter started school, I decided to go back to work. I became an elementary school paraprofessional. I loved my job. Just a few years later, life threw my family a curveball. Steve became sick and was placed on disability and could no longer work at the railroad. We were scared. I prayed for strength and guidance. I knew the time had come for me to step up to the plate and do what I had to do for my family.</p> <p>I enrolled at the local community college and took night classes while working a fulltime job. After four years, it started to take its toll. I felt like I was getting nowhere. That's when I heard about Western Governors, and it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to finish my teaching degree. Psalm 24 says, "May God grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all of your plans." Western Governors University was an answer to prayer for me.</p> <p>I began in May of 2006. I was given an incredible mentor, Kevin [Inaudible]. I can't say enough good things about Kevin. He became my mentor, my cheerleader, as well as my friend. WGU is very blessed to have Kevin on their staff. He deserves an award for putting up with me. [Chuckling] I recall one particular time when I was feeling so overwhelmed, and just felt like I couldn't finish up my tasks by the time they were due.</p> <p>Kevin knew I was discouraged. During one of our phone calls, I asked him, "Kevin, how am I gonna do this?" He responded by saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." A few days later, I received a package in the mail. It was a jar of BBQ sauce from Kevin, all the way from Hawaii. He said it would make the elephant taste better. [Applause] Kevin, you'll never know how that lifted my spirits.</p> <p>As graduates, we should all feel proud to be a part of Western Governors. It has been a very positive experience for me. We have learned that through hard work, determination, and perseverance, we can accomplish a major feat. Most of us have done this while juggling family life and fulltime jobs. We have learned that we can sometimes perform magic tricks, like writing essays while you watch your kid play ball. </p> <p>Looking back, we can all see that we've learned more than what our task and task screen required. I am sure you will agree that number one, perseverance pays off. Two, hard work won't kill you. And three, no matter what your age or your situation, your dreams are achievable. </p> <p>Western Governors has changed our lives for the better. Times are tough for many right now with our country's economic situation. We are well-prepared to face these tough times. We have earned a college degree, and that means we are teachable. We have worked hard to better ourselves. I envision myself and my fellow graduates as successful men and women who share a common bond. And that bond is Western Governors University. </p> <p>We will be proud to tell others our success stories. Western Governors has helped me achieve a lifelong dream of becoming an elementary school teacher, and I will begin my new career this August at Naomi Elementary School in Lafayette, Georgia. This university cares about its students and wants them to succeed. They go the extra mile to ensure that we do this. We've been challenged through rigorous tasks and exams and to make the best of our personal situations.</p> <p>I know I am a success story, but it has been a joint effort. I want to thank Western Governors University and my mentor Kevin for guiding my way and keeping me on track. Thanks to my mother for cheering me on and being an inspiration to me from the nursing home bed. Thanks go out to my mother and father-in-law for prayers and support, and especially those four little words: this too shall pass.</p> <p>Sarah Jones, my dear friend, thanks so much for all of your help and advice. To my family members who are here with me today, Tom and Denise, thank you for your support and for bringing me to my college graduation. That is a special gift. Molly, my daughter, you're a very big part of my success. Thank you for believing in me. Steve, my husband and best friend, your name should be on my diploma as well. Your support has been overwhelming. I want to thank God for giving me courage and strength. From the fullness of His grace, I have received one blessing after another. </p> <p>I would like to leave you with a quote from news anchorman Tom Brokaw. It's easy to make a buck. It's tougher to make a difference. You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of it as an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. Thank you, and congratulations to the 2009 graduates of Western Governors University.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)