Wednesday, May 6, 2020

My Daughter Has Earned a Master's Degree from Concordia University

A few months ago, I wrote about my eldest daughter's two-year road toward obtaining her Master's degree. Jenna will be 27 years old next month and this week she enjoyed a virtual graduation ceremony that was organized by dear friends. The celebration included Jenna being "hooded" with her hood for accomplishing her Master's degree in coaching and athletics administration from Concordia University, Irvine. That was followed by a parade of vehicles past her home with friends, co-workers and students cheering, honking and waving signs to celebrate her achievement. Friends and family who were farther away were able to participate via a video session, which is what I did.

Jenna has achieved something that only 9 percent of Americans have -- a Master's degree. She maintained straight A's throughout the program and was hoping to participate in the actual graduation ceremony in California this month. However, that couldn't occur due to the Coronavirus.

Jenna accomplished the two-year journey while being a full-time elementary teacher and head coach of a high school varsity volleyball team. She worked on her degree during evenings and weekends, always giving 100 percent on each assignment. She was diligent, committed and focused throughout the process and I am so proud of her. She is now one of over 3,000 people around the world to have ever received this particular Masters degree from Concordia University.

I couldn't help but to think back to her first day of Kindergarten in 1999 and that feeling of knowing that my little girl is growing up. I suppose I will always feel that way with each milestone she reaches in life.

After the celebration this week, Jenna said: "Speechless. Thank you to EVERYONE that surprised me. It was an unforgettable graduation and parade. I wouldn’t have accomplished earning my Master’s degree without each of you."

Well done, Jenna. I love you!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso