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Part of Western Governors University

November 18, 2020

Northeast Spotlight

"I’d tell myself to focus, and not quit."

Mario Mejia was one of the speakers for WGU's Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement, which was broadcast nationally to more than 7,400 people.

Mario Mejia’s story is of overcoming the odds. He has grit and determination and used his childhood circumstances as motivation to achieve his goals and better his family and community. 

At age 17, Mario suffered a life-threatening brain injury that required him to relearn basic functions like walking. After overcoming many obstacles and setbacks, Mario wanted to better himself, eventually landing at WGU to earn his Master of Business Administration

He said in his commencement address, “To those who haven’t always had consistent people in their corner, or a support system, that job has to go to you…It took me years, storm after storm, trial after trial, I’d tell myself to stay focused, and not quit.”

A husband and father of two, Mario is the first in his family to earn a master’s degree. He is vice president of delivery channels at Democracy Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, Virginia, and volunteers his time with numerous local organizations and churches, including Children’s Miracle Network, National Park Service, Loudoun Interfaith Relief, Lighthouse Assembly of God, Loudon County Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Leadership Connection, and the Young Professional Network. The day before the commencement ceremony, Mario delivered 3,000 pounds of donated food to a credit union branch for distribution to the community. His good work was lauded in 2015 by Credit Union Magazine and Credit Union Times

Mario says he wanted to be a commencement speaker to share what he’s learned in hopes someone on a similar road can better their outcome. He feels WGU has allowed him the opportunity to make more of himself than what he could have achieved alone.

To watch the entire ceremony, visit the alumni site. Some 605 undergraduate and 666 graduate degree recipients from all 50 U.S. states and DC participated.

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