Cruz was one of two OU-Online students awarded cash prizes for their winning essays in Ottawa University-Online’s first annual “Tell Us Your Story” contest. The money was to be used for travel expenses associated with attending one of OU’s five graduation ceremonies across the nation. Cruz walked on May 11 during OU-Arizona’s commencement ceremony at North Phoenix Baptist Church.
In her essay, Cruz recounted that, other than the day her daughter was born, the best day of her life was a day in 2009 when she finally decided to finish her education. “I believe that everyone at one time or another has had an ‘ah ha’ moment,” Cruz wrote. “It was then I knew I had to make some solid decisions and finally get off the roller coaster I had been on for nearly ten years.” As a result of that “ah ha” moment, she enrolled in Ottawa University- Online to complete her BA in Business Administration. She said her journey at Ottawa University taught her a great deal about herself.
“My journey started off with a simple desire to finish something that I started – if not for my sake, then for my daughter’s,” Cruz wrote. “I was instantly met with hope and optimism and was reassured that all was not lost and I would be able to finally see my long sought-after dream realized. I have not regretted that decision for one day. What I received through my time and education with Ottawa has led me to so much more.”
The second-place contest winner was Jason McCaffity, who took part in commencement ceremonies at The College in Ottawa, Kansas, on May 5. McCaffity is a law enforcement official from Bedford, Texas, who earned his Masters of Business Administration.
When he began the master’s program, he was a patrol sergeant. Since graduating, he has been promoted to administrative lieutenant.
“My profession demands accountability and increased knowledge in every aspect,” McCaffity wrote. “The formal education I received definitely put me ahead of the competition, both on paper and during the interview process.”
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