This weekend, more than 3,000 students will graduate from the University of Louisville.
Two of their peers, Alexandra Hicks-Chambers and Sarah Taheri, will speak at commencement. Hicks-Chambers is graduating with a degree in nursing and Taheri with a degree in mechanical engineering.
UofL News caught up with them to find out more about their time here, what they plan to speak about during the Commencement ceremony and what their plans are next.
UofL News: What was the best part of your UofL experience? What will you miss the most?
Taheri: The best part of my UofL experience was the amazing faculty I was fortunate enough to learn from. It is because of them that I have found my life’s calling, and I wouldn’t be the person or engineer I am today without them. And Dairy Kastle. I will miss Dairy Kastle.
Hicks-Chambers: My favorite part of the UofL experience was going from a blind undergraduate, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and ending up with a clear vision and plan for the rest of my life. I will miss my fellow nursing students and nursing faculty members the most – they are who I grew with and I will always carry a part of them with me.
UofL News: What do you plan to talk about in your speech?
Taheri: I’m going to talk about how UofL has given me so many amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have had at any other university. In Speed School I found a community where I could thrive and belong and attending UofL was the best decision I could have made. They believed in me when no one else did, including myself.
Hicks-Chambers: I plan to talk about the importance of integrity and focus on how it’s not important to have all the answers, but as long as you’re honest to yourself and those around you, you can’t be wrong.
UofL News: What do you want your peers to take away from your speech?
Taheri: I want my peers, especially young women, to not doubt themselves or their capabilities when facing new challenges. They are amazing and brilliant and can do extraordinary things if they take that first leap.
Hicks-Chambers: I want my peers to see the importance in doing the right thing even when no one is around to validate it.
UofL News: What are your plans after graduation?
Taheri: I will be attending Stanford University to get my Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
Hicks-Chambers: My plans after graduation involve accepting my offer to be an emergency department nurse, pass the NCLEX exam, finish my EMT license and be the best darn nurse I can be.
UofL Commencement is Saturday, May 11 at the KFC Yum Center. Two ceremonies will be held: one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.