ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Titan Voice Sharon Tanner: Love of Learning Propels Immigrant to Graduation

I stand here today with my fellow classmates to celebrate all the hard work, long hours and sleepless nights it took to get us to this point. We did it!

Twenty-one years ago, I got on a flight from South Africa with my allotted two bags packed with my most precious possessions and headed to a strange new country. I did not have the opportunity to go to college before I left South Africa, but it never stopped my love of learning, and my dream to get a degree. For so many of us, going to college wasn’t a given; it was a journey we never knew we would be able to take.

But today, at the age of 42, I can truly say dreams do come true. I am proud today to be graduating summa cum laude knowing that as an immigrant, a full-time mother to 12-year old twins and the first member of my family to graduate from college, I am setting an example that when you set your dreams high, you can reach higher.

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