Haith, Landrita L.
Good evening to those of you who are here with us, and those of you who are joining us on the webcast. First and foremost, I give thanks to God, for without him none of this would be possible. Aloha to all my friends and family members across the states, and back home in Cleveland, Ohio. To the MCP instructors: as prior service members, you can relate to the difficulties we face as military students, I salute you, and I truly appreciate and respect every last one of you. They have taught me how to be a good leader, to better communicate with people from other cultures and backgrounds, and tonight… how to stand in front of an audience and give a speech. Most importantly, I thank Jamel, my loving and supportive husband, and father of our three beautiful daughters, Destini, Jordyn and Olivia. Without you, I would not be here tonight! My family is my inspiration!
I am both humbled and honored to stand here in front of all of you to represent the Military Campus Program here at HPU. We all have overcome challenges and made sacrifices to be here. It is especially challenging to attend school while on active duty, deployed. Just imagine… after a hard day of work, you come in to your CHU, or containerized housing unit, take off your gear and prepare to submit an assignment that is due soon. You have been gathering some ideas all day to finalize your paper. Just as you set up to login, you realize the Internet is DOWN… again! Dang… just another day on the FOB (forward operating base). It can be discouraging, serving and protecting our country and balancing family life, while pursuing an education. But guess what? We did not let situations like this influence our drive and motivation to excel, and that is why we are here- graduating tonight. I am proud to be an alumna of HPU.
There was a time when I thought about going to school and earning a degree. I worked dead-end jobs, moved from city to city, had a baby, and dealt with individuals who thrived on witnessing the failure of others. And I realized that if you want to be successful in life, you must make your own opportunities as you go on. I told myself, don’t just sit here and think about how different life would be if I had finished school and earned a degree… I made it a reality!
There is nothing more valuable, and no feeling more gratifying than to walk across this stage and have that piece of paper placed in your hands. True, the road is cramped and the gate is narrow, and few are the ones entering through it. But take action, stand out amongst the sheep and be an example to those who surround you. Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! And succeed with determination!
God bless you all! Congratulations class of December 2012!