Sunday, May 14, 2017

Inspiring You! A Bukola Oriola's Story 4

A cross section of graduating students and guests
Welcome back. If this is your first time reading Inspiring You! A Bukola Oriola's Story, please, go back and read part one, two, and three. Check the right top sidebar for the Inspiring You! A Bukola Oriola's Story Series to read the other parts of the story.

With my brother, Bolaji, my son, Sam, grandpa, and Shakira's kids
I had promised to write about the commencement ceremony that took place two weeks ago when I graduated from Metropolitan State University with my Bachelors of Art.
It's such a feeling of accomplishment knowing that I am now a Bachelors degree holder. It was over due, and I am glad that I didn't think about how long, but was pressing on to complete my degree. 

I will like to use this opportunity to encourage you to keep pressing on regardless of whatever challenges or delays you may be experiencing to accomplish your goal. If you don't give up, you will achieve your goals. Mind you, there are times that you may experience delay or pause, don't think it's the end, rather see it as a stop sign on the road when driving or a red light by the traffic light that will always change to green afterwards.

Meanwhile, on the commencement ceremony night, I was in line with the president and some of the staff, when tears filled my eyes, as soon as the procession song began. I was selected to give the commencement speech on behalf of the graduating students. You can watch it here. I thought to myself, "This is it. I am finally getting my Bachelors degree." It was a moment that I would always remember.
Before then, I had be treated to a dinner with my Minnesota family and friends, thanks to grandma
At dinner with Becky and Shakira before the commencement
and grandpa. They asked where I would like to go to dinner and I chose a Mexican restaurant. We had the dinner and then left for the commencement ceremony which was scheduled for 6:30 PM. We took pictures and they went to take a seat in the auditorium. I wish that I could invite more people
but the tickets were limited to nine per graduating student. 

Luckily, my immediate brother was able to attend from Canada. Although it was a day of joy, it was also a day of sorrow for me because I couldn't get the rest of my siblings in Nigeria to attend. More so, my parents who didn't have the chance for college education were not there to share the glorious moment with me. They both passed away. My mother died in 1998 and my father joined her in 2008.
With Grandma and Grandpa
I sat on the platform with the president and her staff. Sitting with me on the platform was the Student Senate President who also delivered an inspiring speech to the graduating students.
In addition, I saw a lot of my classmates receive their medallions and degree conferment as they passed by me on the platform. It was a glorious night. Greeting several students that night helped me to focus on the joy of the night rather than the sadness.

I finished secondary school education in 1995, which was one year late because I repeated a class, but I didn't get my Bachelors degree until 22 years later, which was over two decades. I posted, "After over two decades, I will be getting my Bachelors. You can take a look at my Capstone eFolio" on my Facebook timeline when I received a pleasant message from a reader. I will share the message with you next time.
Thanks for reading and see you next time.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bukola Oriola Delivers 100th Commencement Speech at Metropolitan State University

Bukola Oriola, Outstanding Student, graduating with her Bachelors of Art in Individualized Studies with a focus on Community Leadership and Diversity.

She was the Student Representative Commencement Speaker at the 100th Commencement of Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota. The event took place on May 1, 2017 at the Roy
Wilkins Auditorium at Saint Paul RiverCentre.

Founded in 1971, Metropolitan State University has produced 41,473 graduates with immeasurable knowledge.

Congratulate Oriola by commenting below as she inspires you with her motivational speech.

Photo by Kehinde Adegbiyi
Video Footage by Metropolitan State University, St. Paul

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Inspiring You! A Bukola Oriola's Story 3

Sorry, I have not published an article for the past two weeks. I have been sick, and now, my son is not feeling well. But I hope to be able to continue from where I left off.

I had promised to share the good news that welcomed me home some 34 years ago. I remembered walking home on that sunny afternoon, when I met a familiar guy few blocks before I reached home. He was probably in his 20s, and he worked at a carpenter's shop on my street. He announced to me, that my mother had just delivered a baby. 

I was really excited and ran as fast as my legs could carry me to our apartment. As soon as I entered the house, the scent of baby products - lotion, oil, and powder- welcomed me into our one bedroom studio. I was surprised to see my father at home, because he was not usually at home around that time of the day. My mother was lying in bed beside her newborn, my brother. She smiled and welcomed me home to the fourth child, and the third male to the family.

Well, as the norm was in my family, few days after, we went to my paternal grand parents for the naming ceremony of the baby. My brother was named by Islamic clerics among families and friends. He is an adult now, and has finished his higher education in Mechanical Engineering.

A day after his naming ceremony, we went back home to our regular routine, and I continued with my elementary education. When I left Ajeromi Primary School to join my parents in our new neighborhood at Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Ipaja, I was enrolled at African Church Primary School, where I completed my six years primary school education.

Shortly after, I spent a few weeks at a "Jakande" Secondary School (pardon me, I don't remember the name of the school) at Abesan Estate, but moved on to Command Secondary School, Ibadan for another five years. I left Command Secondary School, Ibadan for Government College, Ikorodu for two years, to complete my secondary education with my Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

Afterwards, educational challenges and delay became my real life struggles. Come back to learn
more about my academic challenges, and how I have been able to push through, despite the obstacles that caused my delay. The next story will be about the Commencement Ceremony that took place recently at Metropolitan State University, where I graduated as an Outstanding Student recipient with my Bachelor's of Arts.

Join me for a Virtual Book Reading with two other authors, Yvette Toko, founder of Weddings with Yvette and Deborah Sawyerr, founder of Sawyerrs' House and their books, "Marriage Journal: A 7 Week Plan and "Money: The Root 'Curse' of Domestic Violence" on Facebook on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 AM CST. You might win a copy of my book if you add your name to the Insider's list.

Meanwhile, you can still enjoy your over 50% discount on A Living Label: An Inspirational Memoir and Guide book, when you purchase it in addition with Imprisoned: The Travails of a Trafficked Victim book. Click on the image below.

This article is part of a series. You can read part one and two.