Back home, we have a regional campus of Ohio University. It is the campus that I attended when I went for my undergrad education. It offers amazing educational opportunities to those who seek them out, it provides an educational environment for people who would otherwise have no access to higher education. Because it is a strictly commuter campus, the scheduling often allows for "non traditional" students to begin or continue their educational endeavors. My sister was one of those "non traditional" students.
Four years ago, after much thought, Kim decided she wanted to go to college to become a teacher. To anyone who really knows her, this is no surprise. My sister is amazingly patient when it comes to small children, and creative in ways I could never dream of being. She has a way of engaging with kids that makes them just take a shine to her. It is kind of magical to watch. So, her becoming a teacher seemed as natural as breathing. But it required a lot of work. For four years, I have watched my sister balance work, family, a home, and school. While this often required a bit of juggling, she never let any of the balls she juggled drop. And I have watched her husband and kids help support her along her journey.
I have seen my sister make wonderful friends in her program, friendships that will last a lifetime.
This past weekend, all the hard work finally paid off. My sister graduated from college. And not just graduated, she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Where we are from, it is still somewhat rare for people to have a college education. The fact that my parents have three kids, all of who are college graduates, is a big deal. I cannot tell you how incredibly proud we all are of her. I had tears in my eyes pretty much the entire weekend, because I was so proud of her I could just burst. The fact that she was graduating from my own Alma Mater made it that much sweeter.
Thank you Kim, for allowing me to be a part of your journey, for inspiring me to never give up on my own dreams, and for being such an incredible role model to those around you. I love you so much, and am so proud of you.