Final Farewell: Kiara Turner

Final Farewell 
by Kiara Turner, Spring 2015

Booker T. Washington stated, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” This quote never meant much to me until today. My undergraduate journey has been full of success and failures.

When I first got to college, I underestimated how much time and dedication went into every assignment, test, and paper. At the time I was so overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed. I was too proud to ask or seek help from anyone. Most people did not know that I was not only a student of color, but a first generation and low-income student. I have faced financial hardships, lost friends and family, struggled academically; I lost myself, and so much more.

It was not until I was at my absolute lowest, that Student Support Services found me. Whenever I needed encouragement or friendly advice, I would always stop by the office. Over the years, this program has presented me with so many resources and opportunities, that I could never put it all down on a single piece of paper.

I have been fortunate to meet beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful students fighting a similar battle as me. That battle to not only succeed, but walk across that stage with a diploma in hand. Through Student Support Services I found a tutor and lifelong mentor. Who not only motivated me to work diligently in my academics, but take the necessary steps toward applying for graduate school. This only fueled my desire to work even harder in my studies.

I received numerous honors and awards from multiple semesters on the President’s Honor Roll to academic scholarships. I also began to take on various leadership roles from a research and teaching assistant, a study skills tutor, and an executive board member of a national organization. These experiences allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and take risks in my journey to success. I am humbled to say these experiences have paid off, because I will be attending graduate school in the fall. The more time I have spent with Student Support Services, the more I have grown not only as a student, but an individual.

After five years, I would have never realized how fundamental Student Support Services would be in my life. Student Support Services has encouraged and challenged me to strive for greater in my professional and personal goals. So I encourage everyone that is involved in this program, to actively participate. The benefits of this program will always outweigh the costs. Honestly, there were never any costs being a part of this program. You will never be let down by what they have to offer. You will always have a helping hand willingly out stretched to you, whether you choose to accept it or not.

I implore you to never give up. Never regret or wallow in your failures or past experiences. It is how you conquer those failures or experiences that define you. Student Support Services has taught me to appreciate my failures, in order to humbly accept my success. Words can never describe how thankful I am for Justin, Bianca, and Jesus. I am honored and privileged to say that they along with Student Support Services are my family. So once again I say thank you for everything. I would not be the person I am today without you in my life. I am forever changed.

The Student Support Services (SSS) program within the Division of Institutional Diversity is designed to assist eligible participants persist and graduate at Oklahoma State University. To learn more about SSS click here.
Slideshow Title: 
Final Farewell: Kiara Turner
Slideshow Subtitle: 
SSS participant Kiara Turner recounts her time with TRiO-SSS.
Slideshow Image: 
Kiara Turner