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Big dreams have humble beginnings

Growing up in a small village in Guyana, Secota Douglas always had dreams that were bigger than her surroundings, including earning a degree from a prestigious university such as Oregon State.

OSU Ecampus alumna overcomes adversity to earn degree

By Heather Doherty  

When the world is telling you to stop, Secota Douglas says go. All the way to the top.

Growing up in a small village in Guyana – which she described as “a third-world country” when she was growing up – Secota always had dreams that were bigger than her surroundings, including earning a degree from a prestigious university such as Oregon State.

“I am the direct descendent of people who, after facing so much adversity, decided, ‘You know what, we can still push forward,’” she says. “For me, no matter how difficult a situation is or may look, hope is something that keeps driving me forward – especially when I look at my family. I always want to do better for my mom, so it means a lot to me to graduate.”

Secota hugs Benny the Beaver at Oregon State's campus before walking in the 2017 commencement ceremony.

Secota traveled to Oregon State’s Corvallis campus to walk in the commencement ceremony — and meet Benny Beaver.

Secota, who earned a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy online through Oregon State Ecampus, is one of the first in her family to graduate from college.

She says her degree helped her see backdoor dealings of how policies are made, why they are made, and how much work goes into getting legislation passed.

“Surprisingly, that amount of work didn’t deter me, it just drives me to be able to one day help pass one of those legislations that can help me do good for the environment,” she says.

Her graduation day on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus was especially notable for Secota, who traveled to OSU for the first time to join her classmates celebrate their achievements.

“Graduating means just the world to me. And I know it means the world to my mom, and to my family,” she says. “And that just makes me feel that much more accomplished.”


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