Margaret headshot

Inner Strength Gets Student Through Challenges to Graduation

As we celebrate our graduates this spring, we hear many powerful stories about their experienceboth in college and in life. More often than not, they’re stories of overcoming significant obstacles to reach their dreams.

We get to hear from some of these students during our graduation ceremonies. We call them our “Voices.” Over the next week or so, we’ll be sharing several of their speeches with you here.

We hope you learn something worthwhile from each our our graduate’s voices.

Margaret Wirth: Associate of General Studies

Margaret speaking at the podium at commencement

Anyone who knows me well enough is familiar with what I call my “semesterly crisis”— it’s a period every semester when break is still a few weeks away, assignments are getting in late, and I’m just about ready to give up completely and quit school.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Margaret Wirth. I grew up homeschooled—unschooled, technically, with the guidance of my wonderful parents. I never had to get used to doing homework or worrying about grades as a child, so attending community college full-time through a concurrent enrollment program at fifteen years old was a big challenge for me.

Perseverance Pays Off

But the great thing about Front Range Community College is that even when I struggled and felt like I was alone, I wasn’t. I have had incredible professors, mentors, classmates, and dear friends who have helped me along the way.

They were the ones who told me to keep going; to persevere; to keep working towards my goals. To everyone who has encouraged me—thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

A Moment of Pride

But at the end of the day, during the past four years and nine semesterly crises I’ve had at Front Range, the only thing that truly convinced me, in my heart of hearts, to keep going was this little voice in my head that told me, “This will be worth it someday.” And let me tell you, it is worth it.

More than I ever, ever imagined. Standing here tonight, earning my Associate’s Degree with a 4.0 GPA at age 18, I have never been prouder of myself.

The Power Within

Margaret in front of the eiffel tower

To my fellow graduates—please, thank everyone who has been by your side on this journey. But we shouldn’t forget to thank ourselves. We are the common denominator in every one of our successes. Graduating today is no exception.

We had the power within ourselves to make this achievement happen—realizing that inner strength is the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my time here. After tonight, we will all embark on our own journeys through life, but I hope you always remember the pride you feel for yourself tonight, no matter where you go and what you do.

Carry it with you. I know I will.

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