Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Graduate - June 2014
Resides in New York
Laura is our 2014 Online Campus Valedictorian. Here is her speech from graduation. Enjoy.
Good evening faculty, administration, family, friends, and fellow students.
I cannot begin to express what an honor this is and how proud I am to be selected to speak on behalf of the many other Allen School graduates. I know all too well how difficult it was to arrive at this day, and can only hope my personal struggle and goals resonate with many of you.
I can assure you that I am not your stereotypical student. As a single parent beyond typical college age, and a former nurse who decided to forego my career to raise my son, I decided about a year ago it was time to focus on my future for the benefit of both my son and me. Little did I realize what I was getting into. For the past year, my average day would include:
– Getting up to prepare breakfast and see my son off to school
– Starting my online classes at 10am which ran until 3pm
– Getting my son off the school bus at 3:05pm only to find myself involved in school work once again to help him with his own assignments
– Leaving for work, 3 nights a week, at 6pm and returning back home around 2 in the morning
– Getting a few hours of sleep only to begin the process all over again
There were days when I was so exhausted I wanted to quit everything. But there was always something inside me that drove me on. Everyone here today has a goal, a vision of what life will be like in our next chapter. For me, my vision of the future is rather simple. I hope to better myself through my education so I can be a role model for my son and so I can demonstrate to him what perseverance can accomplish.
The Allen School online education that I received was much more than I had ever anticipated. It was a rigorous one, with top notch professors and educators that prepared me for the competitive work world that exists. I also developed friendships and relationships with fellow students that I had never expected to since this was an online program.
I would personally like to thank Beth Baker, Laura Glynn, and the many other wonderful professors for guiding me and assisting me through this journey. I would also like to thank Professor Misti Sanders for nominating me for student of the module.
In addition to that I would like to thank my fellow students Robyn Marrow and Marta Medina who could not make it here today, for helping me through some challenging times.
Most of all, I would like to thank my 10 year old son, Michael, for being patient with me and for understanding my decision to go back to school.
In closing, I would like to congratulate everyone here for the dedication and sacrifices they have made over this past year. It is an accomplishment that we should all be proud of. As the Late American poet, Maya Angelou stated “All great achievements require time.”