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This week, Izumi Muraki of San Ysidro, California, became the third and final winner in our Facebook "Like" sweepstakes. Izumi, an undergrad in the WGU Teachers College, is a world traveler who needs to be able to take her education on the go – which is why WGU's online degree programs are a perfect fit for her.
Izumi joins Seth Otteson of Riverton, Utah, and Jessica Crawford of Warren, Pennsylvania, as a winner in the sweepstakes. Seth won an iPad when we reached 8,000 fans in May, and Jessica won a Kindle when we reached 6,000 fans back in February. Izumi's big win – a laptop computer – came after we reached 10,000 fans in the thriving, active WGU Facebook community.
Congratulations to Izumi, and thank you for sharing your WGU story with us:
What degree program are you in at WGU?
B.A. in Biology
How did you find WGU and why did you select WGU?
Through an online search. I needed to study online because I am in and out of the U.S. a lot. I also needed it to be affordable and accredited.
What made you want to earn your degree at this point in your life?
I finished high school on time, but my mom had passed away the year I graduated. I was very depressed and couldn't make myself enroll in college, although I wanted to keep on studying. The next year when I had turned 19 or 20, my biological father in Japan also passed. I knew it was time to get myself together and get into school again so I can sustain myself in the near future, since I had very few people who were helping me.
What's the best thing about being a student at WGU?
The flexibility. I go in and out of the U.S. to visit my family in Japan and some friends in Mexico, so it works for me.
What does earning your degree mean to you and/or your family?
For all the family it was important that I got my degree, and for me also. I was taught that studying is very important in life.
What are your career plans after you earn your online degree?
Teach at a high school. And also keep studying for a master's.
Give us a background on who you are and your professional experience.
I was born in Japan. My mom and I moved to Mexico when I was 9. She met my stepdad in Mexico, and we moved to the States when I was 16. So I've been here and there a lot. I love playing videogames and going to the gym with my free time (other than studying, of course). I've had several opportunities to teach Japanese to some people, and it was very fun.
What gives you motivation every day to be the best you can be?
My mother. She was my inspiration ever since I was little. I always wanted to be like her, and now that she passed away, the least I think I can do is make the best of my life. Also, when I have a stable income, I want to live with my boyfriend. He has supported me though a lot for three-and-a-half years. I owe my life to him; I may not have been around right now if it wasn't for him.
How do you balance your life and earning your degree online?
If I need a time off I go to the gym or go out with friends. Too much of anything is not good, I think.
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