It’s finally here. I’ve been anticipating this day for 30 years. Today, May 19, 2019, is graduation day.
As I reflect on my journey and experiences, it leaves me with a feeling of joy, fulfillment and gratitude.
Along the way, there have been a lot of disappointments, setbacks — and life — which has allowed me to not only appreciate what today will bring, but has enabled me to be able to encourage those of you who’ve wanted to graduate from college or whatever it is that you desire to achieve in your life.
It wasn’t easy.
After graduating from Ball High School in June 1989, I set my sights on becoming an attorney and started my first attempt at college at Texas Southern University in Houston. I couldn’t really venture too far because I had my oldest son, Joshua, my senior year of high school. I attended school for two years; however, I ended up back in Galveston where, two years later, I was pregnant with my second son, Denzel.
No more school for me — for a while. I was sad and depressed about that because my friends were graduating from college already.
After working at various entities in Galveston County from the University of Texas Medical Branch to Galveston County, and others in between, it wasn’t until my employment at Ball High School inspired the idea of me going back to school to obtain something that I’d longed for all those years after high school.
I was determined to get my degree, so I went to school at night and worked during the day. Along the way, there were a lot of obstacles, but I persevered with the help of family and friends — and my faith. I eventually ended up at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in January 2008 after stints at Galveston College and College of the Mainland.
Now, 11 years after stepping foot on the campus of UHCL, I can say that I’m a college graduate. It feels good to say that. But it wasn’t easy. After funding for school dried up, I had to “find” the money to pay for the remainder of my education by enlisting the help of friends who contributed greatly toward my education. They know who they are and I’m indebted to you and your generosity.
I’d also like to thank The Daily News for their help and support since I’ve been here the past 11 ½ years. Thank you Dolph Tillotson, Heber Taylor and Michael A. Smith. Your support in helping me achieve my dream hasn’t gone unnoticed. And, last but not least, to my family, particularly my husband, Greg, thank you for standing by me and helping me to walk across the stage today.
So, when “life” happens — don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep pushing. Keep the faith. Know that all things are possible with God if you believe. It’s been 30 years in the making. Congratulations to the Class of 2019.
Now … on to my master’s degree.