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Today, I graduated.

And I have this wonderful community to thank for it.

I came here in 2008, right after Barack Obama's election. I had just started at community college and I was unsure of myself intellectually. Eventually, I got my footing and ended up with a 3.8 GPA and 9 terms on academic honor roll. I look back on all the time I spent in school, and there was always one driving force in my life, pushing me toward my intellectual apex: the dailykos community.

You provided me with material support -- A few times I had to come to this community, hat in hand, swallow my pride and ask for help. And you rose to the occasion. When I first started at Western Oregon University, there was a time that I could not afford books. I complained about it in a diary, and daily kos rose to the occasion. I got more material help through this website while at school than my parents gave me. One generous, wonderful Kossack gave me a scholarship of 100 dollars a month for 6 months. She has chosen to remain anonymous, but I just wanted to say thank you, personally, to her. A few months ago I was rummaging through some old Kosmails and noticed something that brought a tear to my eyes: a brilliant, wonderful kossack named Julie Waters sent thirty five dollars to my paypal account. I didn't have to ask her, I didn't have to beg, she just sent it to me, because I complained about the price of books. Later, that fantastic, awesome kossack passed away. I never got a chance to thank her for her help.

But this great orange community did so much more than just material support. So, so much more. You prepared me for the rigors of an intellectual life. You taught me how to argue, how to be a more compassionate person and how to be an ally. You taught me how to transform my political thoughts into political action. I would have never, ever succeeded without each and every one of you.

And for that, I am deeply, deeply in debt to this community. I have no idea how I will ever repay you all. But you have my deepest gratitude. Each and every one of you (even the ones I have had problems with in the past). Thank you for helping me fulfill a dream. Thank you for helping me become the first college graduate in my family. And thank you for giving me the intellectual courage to move on.

Pat yourselves on the back. Without you

this (myself and my wonderful fiancee)

and this (me and my parents)
Would have never happened. So I say with all of the happiness, gratitude, and joy I can muster:


thank you so much.

Edit - 1:19 AM

More pics :)

The soc peeps
Two sociologists against the world
Aww :)
Phew! Thesis is done!!
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