Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The One with the Diploma...

This degree has been years in the making!! I feel so ecstatic that I have completed this milestone.  I started working on my Master's Degree several years ago.  I would take a class here and two classes there.  There were many times that I felt frustrated and alone in this journey.  My mom thought I was crazy.  Sometimes I thought I was crazy, but I just did not want to look back with regret.  

Jason has always been my number one supporter and encouraged me that I could complete this goal that I had my heart set on.  

When I had about a year left of school I was in one of my discouraged phases and I remember talking to Shanna Parmer at church one night.  I told her I had three or four classes left, but that I just didn't know what to do.  I remember her telling me to finish and that I could do it.  She told me that I didn't want to regret not finishing and I was almost there.  She gave me that final push.

Another person that always encouraged me was Shanna Floyd.  She has helped me over the years in so many different ways.  There are too many ways to even name, but on a daily basis she encouraged me just by allowing me to do what I needed to do to put school as a top priority.  

I am so grateful for the professors and the classmates that I have met along the way.  Dr. Yvette Castillo was truly an inspiration and I learned a lot from her.  During my final semester this fall I had the privilege to study under Dr. Leigh Green and I thoroughly enjoyed her class.   

Thanks to Rene Havel our Graduation Day was very memorable.  She put together a dinner for us after the ceremony that was complete with cake and champagne.  She also hired our own photographer for the evening.  She made it so special and I am thankful for that.

I woke up that day on December 13, 2013 feeling like I was floating on a cloud.  Jason was so sweet and sincerely proud of me.  First on our schedule was a Quanah Indians basketball game in Vernon.  We went to the game and then left in a school vehicle that Mr. Freeman was generous to let us use while he rode back on the activity bus with the team.  We switched cars in Quanah and then headed to Childress to pick up the kids from school.  

Graduation was at 7 p.m. that night and because I love my Mama dearly I made sure and told her it was at 6 p.m.  I had emailed my dad to tell him what I had done, but that it really was at 7 p.m. and his reply was, "All that education is finally paying off." 

We made it to Canyon in plenty of time.  We walked in and I found my classmates while my family found their seats.  Jason stayed with me until I needed to get lined up.  He's so sweet to me.

Then it was time.
Graduation was here.

I'm so glad I chose to walk.  It was far away from home and super far away from home for my parents, but gosh darn I had worked soooooo hard to get here! It was totally worth it.  Being hooded then accepting my diploma was the best feeling.....

Well, almost.  The best feeling was seeing my family afterwards.  They looked so happy and proud.  The kids were precious while handing me beautiful flowers and giving me sweet hugs.  

How cute are these two?

I love them so much

Next up was our dinner.  There were 8 of us that were pretty close throughout the program.  Our families and friends joined us at a restaurant to enjoy some yummy Mexican food.  

Our Future Graduate

Before we ate Dr. C got up and read bios from each of us.  This was my bio....

Tara Sims lives in Quanah and is married to Jason Sims who is the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach as well as the Head Boys Basketball Coach.  They have two children, Olivia who is in 2nd grade and Jonah who will begin Kindergarten next fall. Her parents are Bobby and Gwen Keys and they live in Bridgeport.

Tara graduated from Childress High School in 1998 and then began her undergraduate degree at the University of North Texas.  In 2007 she graduated from Mid-America Christian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Management and Ethics. 

In 2008 she began the Counseling Program at West Texas A&M University.  Slowly, but surely she has taken class after class and is now finally a graduate!!! She has had the privilege to learn from the best, Dr. Yvette Castillo, Dr. Terry Hargrave, Dr. Melodie Frick, Dr. Robin Kelly and Dr. Leigh Green.  She believes that an education is something that no one can ever take from you and that her fellow graduates should be very proud of themselves for reaching this honorable milestone.

She would like to thank her parents for being there for her and thank her husband, Jason, who has always been her #1 supporter and encourager.  If it wasn’t for his continued love and support she would not be standing in this room tonight.

Currently, she is the Assistant Chief of Probation for the 100th Judicial District.  She plans to continue that job while building her own private practice.  Her desire is to help guide individuals, families and children become the very best version of themselves and to help them achieve their own dreams.   Her motto is, “There is always hope.”

After we ate they toasted us with champagne and then we had cake.  
What a celebration!!  I am so proud of all of us.  
A life changing moment for us all ... here's to our dreams of helping others achieve their dreams!

I was also showered with many gifts including this jewelry and lots of cash.  I am so grateful for kindness and the love you have all shown me.

Jewelry that my sweet Mama made and a James Avery ring
 (along with some $$$)

Such a cute Brighton bracelet from the Bursey Family

This stunning jewelry set from Kevin and Shanna Floyd


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