Commencement Spotlight: Courtney Malecek
Dec. 16, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
“Commencement Spotlight” highlights SHSU's upcoming graduates with stories from Bearkats that demonstrate a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service. Visit today@sam/commencementspotlight to read more.
The Woodlands, TX
BA in Interdisciplinary Agriculture
Courtney Malecek was full of excitement and dreams for the future when she started college at Sam Houston State University.
“Many of us have the same expectations beginning our freshman year—accomplish all, participate in everything possible and make straight A's,” Malecek said. “As most soon figure out, life throws many curve balls.”
Malecek didn’t anticipate being a college student and a new mother at the same time. She also didn’t expect to experience such tremendous grief.
“The day after my son was born, we lost my great uncle Joe. Throughout my time in school, eight family members have passed away. Loss is something that sets back your educational goals, but you have to learn to push through it.”
During that time, she found comfort knowing she wasn’t alone. Within her campus community she met others dealing with loss, hardship and stress.
“I battled anxiety and depression and pushed through with the help of my professors, peers and family. Many professors didn't just teach a lecture, they helped guide us into the right direction in times of need. College teaches us not just educational content, but how to become an exceptional person through the battles you are given.”
Now, after completing this big step, she is ready to move forward with making a better life for herself and her family.
“Most importantly, I did this for my child. He is only 1 year old right now, but one day he will realize I finished this degree for him, so I could give him an amazing life. Hopefully in the future, he pursues higher education as well.”
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