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Graduating gave Mike confidence to achieve his dreams.

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0:00 Thank you for helping us deal with homelessness 0:02 in our community. 0:04 Thank you for helping me end human trafficking 0:06 in our community. 0:07 Thank you, thank you, thank you. 0:13 I'm a public servant. 0:15 Not to be confused with a politician. 0:21 I am Mike Gipson. 0:22 I serve you as your state assembly member. 0:24 Born and raised not too far from here in Watts. 0:27 When our son was killed at three years old he saw my wife 0:31 and ran to her. 0:33 And he was saying mommy, mommy. 0:35 And a woman came down a street and hit him. 0:38 And so that changed our entire life. 0:47 It's the reason why I get up every morning, 0:50 because I understand my why, I understand my purpose is to try 0:53 to make people's lives better. 0:55 I believe that each bill that I author and sign 0:58 are bills that's going to affect this community 1:00 and the community I was born and raised 1:02 and all of California in a very positive way. 1:08 Mike is an incredible leader. 1:10 He started off as a youth pastor, 1:12 then as a city commissioner, city councilman, 1:16 and now he's in the state legislature as assemblyman. 1:20 People want to see their elected officials. 1:21 They want to reach out and know that you 1:23 go through the same exact thing that they go through. 1:26 My mother cleaned rich people's homes. 1:29 My father was a truck driver. 1:31 My parents taught me the meaning of hard work 1:34 and if you work hard it's going to pay off in the long run. 1:37 For someone who grew up who had a learning disability, who 1:42 spoke with a stutter, and thought that 1:44 I wasn't intelligent enough to actually go to school. 1:47 Feeling very insignificant around friends 1:50 who'd gone on to go to college that I 1:52 didn't have that ability. 1:54 Going on, graduating from the University of Phoenix, 1:57 that gave me tremendous confidence 2:00 and believing that I can. 2:02 If someone can grow up in Watts and defy 2:05 all the odds and the statistics that 2:08 show that I should be dead, in gangs, in drugs, and in prison. 2:13 If you believe in yourself, you can change the trajectory 2:17 and create a paradigm shift that will catapult you 2:20 to your level of greatness. 2:23 Each of us can create the history we want. 2:26 Black History Month is not just about the past, 2:31 it's about creating a new future. 2:33 And it's the future that cause people to dream again. 2:38 I want that when the history books 2:40 are written, that they will reflect 2:42 that this little boy who grew up in South Los Angeles 2:45 made a difference.

Mike Gipson

Class of 2007, BSB

More alumni stories

Allan S. - A lesson in determination - University of Phoenix

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00:00:04,000 --> 00:00:06,000 While I served in the military 00:00:06,000 --> 00:00:15,500 I'd find myself getting out of the truck and leaning against a tire, opening up my book, and reading some of the excerpts from the chapters that I was assigned for the week or two. 00:00:15,500 --> 00:00:23,300 I use that in my classroom today as a teacher because the students that I have, they expect more from me than just someone who gives a lesson. 00:00:23,500 --> 00:00:30,500 I tell them that if I can sit against a Humvee tire in the Middle East, and I can do my homework 00:00:30,500 --> 00:00:34,000 Success is possible. All you've got to do is try. 00:00:34,000 --> 00:00:35,000 Try harder.

Allan S | Class of 2014

“My academic advisor made graduating possible.”

Amber P. - Taking her future back - University of Phoenix

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00:00:03,000 --> 00:00:06,500 I had been working as a nurse, and I had suffered a back injury. 00:00:07,000 --> 00:00:12,500 It was actually pretty devastating for me because I was not going to be able to work at the bedside as a nurse anymore. 00:00:12,500 --> 00:00:21,000 At that time, my colleague said, you've got a fire in you. You've got more to offer. Have you thought about going back to school? 00:00:21,000 --> 00:00:30,500 I had three young children. I was working two jobs. There was no other opportunity for me to go back to school other than online. 00:00:30,500 --> 00:00:37,500 Because of the flexibility of the University of Phoenix, I didn't miss soccer games. I didn't miss baseball games. 00:00:37,500 --> 00:00:43,000 I was present. I wasn't gone. I didn't drive away and go to school, and they won't look back and say Mom wasn't there. 00:00:43,000 --> 00:00:48,750 It really let me still be me and have a life, have friendships, engage in my job. 00:00:49,000 --> 00:00:58,000 Now I am the clinical director for a medical device company. I work with hospitals all over the country, helping to establish injury prevention programs. 00:00:58,000 --> 00:01:05,500 There's no way I would have made the impact or the difference that I'm making without the support, the confidence, and the education that I was provided.

Amber P | Class of 2017

“I couldn’t have juggled it all at another university.”

Daniel W. - Education unlocked his potential - University of Phoenix

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00:00:03,500 --> 00:00:11,300 I was a late bloomer. In high school, I didn't do that well. I don't think I had the maturity or the tenacity to really see my potential come to fruition. 00:00:12,000 --> 00:00:17,500 I would say University of Phoenix had a profound effect on how I realized my potential. 00:00:18,000 --> 00:00:22,000 I am a division chief responsible for over 20 firefighters, 20 captains and some firefighters. 00:00:22,000 --> 00:00:27,000 It's very important with my job to keep my people safe so they can keep the populace safe. 00:00:27,000 --> 00:00:36,000 I can have an in flight emergency on a B 2 stealth, and I'm chasing the aircraft down the runway with fire trucks following me 00:00:36,000 --> 00:00:42,150 lights and sirens blazing, having to call for permission from the tower, having to talk on another radio talking to the pilot 00:00:42,150 --> 00:00:50,500 telling the medics whether they need to stand down. Just doing a million things at once, trying to organize the chaos, as I would call it. 00:00:50,500 --> 00:00:56,500 Then after, do my best to take a step back and say, wow, that was really cool. How many people will get to do things like that? 00:00:56,500 --> 00:01:03,000 I would not be prepared. I would not feel like I was in the right wheelhouse without the skills I got from the University of Phoenix. 00:01:03,000 --> 00:01:16,000 I'm proud of going through the experience and then being able to use that directly into my profession and make me a better firefighter, make me a better division chief, make me a better manager, make me all around better as a working professional.

Daniel W | Class of 2013

“I can’t think of a day on my job I don’t use what I learned.”

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