Earning an education leads to ability to influence other generations

By Myeisha Neal
Earning an education leads to ability to influence other generations

I began my educational journey six years ago with and positive end in mind.  And now that I have reached my destination, I can’t begin to describe the emotions of humility and gratitude that remain.  A week ago I officially earned a bachelor’s degree in business - with an emphasis in organizational leadership.

Now, with my degree in hand, and my faith, I am a holistic and equitable individual with the credibility to influence present and future generations in business and leadership.

My journey was one of great hardship and sacrifice, and as I embarked on this truly enlightened quest, I endured a bitter divorce, caused in part by an affliction known as Graves’ disease.  I sojourned alone as I fought and won battles with thyroid and lymph nodes cancer as a single mother of three. My children and I consequently shed many things that we loved to overcome sickness and disease.  However, I learned during this season of my life that the will to live and survive is a powerful force in the face of death.  And with this knowledge I took on evangelical and public speaking prospects which provided an outlet to encourage others.  As I reflect on this time in my life, I am most grateful for the blessing of kissing my children every morning, and kissing them again as I tuck them to their beds each night.  I feel as though I still owe them the whole world, especially for all of the things that they sacrificed for me.  So, I look forward to restoring those things in the near future.   

Equally, my journey has had many highlights.  The final semester of my associate’s degree, I published my first book and was accepted to Fresno Pacific University.  I became a two-year, collegiate golfer, a President’s Award winner at West Hills College, and a voice of influence among my peers.  Likewise, I married my childhood acquaintance and gained a beautiful family who were very much a part of my childhood.  I also began a political career as a personal assistant and public relations officer with my prior experience and developing knowledge of business.  And in love with my husband, I delivered my youngest son as I pursued my degree. 

Mahatma Gandhi once wrote: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”  I believe that my pilgrimage is a mirror of Gandhi’s words.  My journey began with a belief that I could achieve something great despite my outward conditions.  And it is that belief that has carried me to this moment of humility and gratitude.  The values of discernment, ingenuity, bravery, and transformation have formed a target of personal and professional  influence reflective of the attitudes, behaviors and choices which mirror who I am now, who I am becoming and who I hope to be in the future.

So what does the future hold for me now?  I am making the necessary strides to pursue a master’s degree in business and hope to begin my next step in the spring.  With high hopes, I have also begun to research a teaching credential while entering a very competitive job market in my present field.  Additionally, I intend to continue writing for The Lemoore Leader on a consistent basis, implore more public speaking opportunities, be more involved in my service club, and oblige the educational needs of Lemoore youth through the new Police Athletic League.

In closing, I would like to honor my husband and children for the sacrifices they made as we endured this journey together.  None of the words in the world could express my gratitude for my beautiful, immediate family.  Additionally I thank the many family members, friends and colleagues who gave me hope as I pressed toward the mark while they were successful on their own paths.  Lastly, I thank every one of my educators, mentors, and advisors who acted as sages along the way.  It all began with a belief that I could achieve something great - despite my outward conditions.  And with faith and education, I have become a holistic individual. 

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