We asked graduates to share their journey to graduation. Here is what Carrie Warren (Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organization Studies) had to say in her own words…
The journey to achieve my Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organization Studies did not come easy. Along the way, I was met with many financial setbacks and emotional challenges. At times, I could hear self-doubt in the back of my mind, quietly whispering—Do you have what it takes to be successful? Is your family time worth sacrificing? Are you sure this is what you want? Looking back, I now know that clarity was always in front of me, all I had to do was listen to words of my DU Professors along the way.
At the beginning, Dr. Margo Linn Espenlaub gave me the insight to see that I was already “successful,” I simply needed to take ownership of being the CEO of my life. In the middle, Dr. Arthur C. Jones showed me my ancestral history and explained that to come into one’s own, you must learn who you are and in time you see that “time away from family” is not a sacrifice but a gift of clarity. At the end, it was Dr. Cara DiEnno who taught me that “to want something” is to be bold and embrace the strength and drive that it takes to be committed to your purpose, because your Head + your Heart = your Hustle. I give thanks to all the DU Professors that have helped me walk my path. With your insight and encouragement came the removal of self-doubt and the confidence to succeed.
But I didn’t walk this journey alone. My husband Rahshaun and beautiful kids Shyla, Shemar and Sheyden have been with me from the beginning. Each, encouraging me through detour and difficulties, while serving as a reminder that it doesn’t matter how long it takes or what lies at the end of the road—embrace the journey. Of course, successful completion of my undergraduate degree could not be achieved were it not for the many wonderful scholarship donors who believed in me. Thank you, for your personal and monetary investment!
In the end, what started as a four-year plan will end eleven years later. This experience is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Most memorable, I will never forget my travel abroad to Cape Town, South Africa and the opportunity to complete a cultural immersion in Langa Township, wilderness-based experiential with Educo Africa, and a service-learning internship with Africa Tikkun. It may have taken me eleven years to get here but I made it. To forge ahead, I had to stop looking back. I didn’t allow a failed plan or expectations to steal the gifts before me because I learned—there are no short-cuts to a place worth going. Therefore, I’m glad I came and I’m glad I conquered. University of Denver, many thanks for the opportunity!