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Graduating gave Mike confidence to achieve his dreams.
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.
Class of 2007, BSB
More alumni stories
Allan S. - A lesson in determination - University of Phoenix
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
Allan S | Class of 2014
“My academic advisor made graduating possible.”
Amber P. - Taking her future back - University of Phoenix
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
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.”