I've wanted to complete this degree for the last ten years. However, I always told myself that the timing wasn't right, or that I needed more free time before I engaged in such a rigorous endeavor. UOPX gave me the ability to finally say yes to myself. It meant that I wasn't going to spend more time away from my family and my husband. I could do my work when my kids were asleep, after I'd helped them with their homework. The freedom and flexibility as provided by the UOPX really helped me in a tremendous and lasting way, giving me the ability to say yes to myself in a definite and meaningful manner and in a way which would positively impact my family. I believe that once I get a job with my MSN in education I'll be able to offer my family greater financial rewards as well as the gift of more free time.

One of the main ways that I was able to accomplish my goals was that I had the full support of my kids and husband. They never made me feel like they were suffering because I was so busy, and during times when I was at my busiest and most stressed, they were there with words of encouragement that I absolutely needed.

Furthermore, UOPX was able to set me up with a great learning team; I felt I was able to both give and receive on my learning team. The students on my team contributed to my education, and I hope that I contributed to theirs. The faculty always worked hard to show that they were at my disposal. They were always there to answer any possible question I might have or to discuss an idea with me. Furthermore, they did what any good professors would do: they pushed me to excel and to achieve my best. By working hard, and by asking questions, and by pushing myself to my very limits of critical thinking and creativity, I was able to become an event better student and individual. I absolutely would not have achieved this without the help of my very giving professors.

Change I'd Like to See in the World

After all this work, and after all this highly collaborative effort, I truly do believe that the degree I've earned is going to help me give back to the world at large. With an MSN in education, I'll be able to secure a job in this field that matters and that has the power to make changes that matter to children and to our nation, and which has the potential for growth and advancement. With an MSN in education, I can work heavily with communities. I'd especially like to work with the inner city population in Los Angeles; many of the children who live in these areas are disadvantaged and don't receive the same quality of education: schools that are underfunded and teachers who are disillusioned. With my MSN degree I feel that the advocacy work that I do for these communities will be taken more seriously and will be treated with greater gravity. This means that I have the potential to create lasting change, and ultimately, make the lives of these students much better.

In closing, I'd like to again thank all of you for coming and allowing me to share my experiences with you. Thank you for listening. If you remember anything about my speech, I hope you remember that the power really is in your hands to change your lives, and that hard work will get you everywhere,…