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Blakley at science welcome picnic

Student uses experiences to become an effective advocate

Brandi Blakley | Psychology, Undergraduate | Department of Psychology Giving a commencement speech on behalf of the IUPUI graduating class of 2015 came naturally to Brandi Blakley; in fact, it was one of more than 125 speeches she’s given at more than 50 different locations over the last four years.

 Drawing from her own experiences, Blakley works as a motivational speaker and advocate.
Studying psychology helped Blakley channel her talents and drive into helping others and raising awareness about child abuse. Working with charities for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and assisting in psychology research allowed her to better connect with and impact audiences, making her a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves.
Future Plans
This summer Blakley will marry her fiancé, who she met while living on-campus, before attending University of Indianapolis in August for a MA degree in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She hopes to eventually get a Psy.D. and work with clinical family and child psychology. 
To learn more about Blakley’s story, visit her website. Watch Blakley’s commencement speech or read excerpts below. 

Commencement Speech
“Hello and welcome family, friends, honored guests, and of course graduating students. My name is Brandi Blakley. I am one of the many students that represent the graduating class of 2015…”
“Now as we gather today with family, friends, and loved ones we are commemorating the process it took to get here, let us reflect on who we used to be, who we are, and who we can be from this point.
“This ceremony is important because tomorrow we are graduates of IUPUI. Tomorrow we will be of the group that were privileged enough to walk Taylor Courtyard, eat in the Campus Center, and among the few young adults around the world with college degrees. But where do we go from here?
“First, we must acknowledge those who helped make our college experience possible. Today it is pertinent that we hold fast to our support networks. Thank you to our parents who have stood by us no matter what our decisions. To professors who instilled a passion for knowledge and growth in us. To administrators and advisors who helped us decide what path we wanted to take…and redirected us when we changed our minds.  Lastly to our friends, who were there for the late night study sessions, the 8am classes, parties, and everything in between. We thank you for your contribution to our education and our future! I would personally like to add a special thank you to Dr. Kroupa for all the support she has provided throughout my time here at IUPUI, my fiancé, Tomasz, and our family who have been my rock, and lastly the entire Psychology department that became my home away from home for the past four years. We ask that you all continue to support us as we embark on our future endeavors.
“And now I speak to you graduating students we have a responsibility to our communities, to our world, no matter our majors or aspirations. Whether we are in medicine, design, or academia, we must not solely focus on selfish ideals or prestige, rather, we must challenge ourselves to be civically engaged.
“Life after college should not be about living sedentary or quiet lives. The challenge is to take these college years, the connections made, the unique passions, to take this degree and to do something relevant and positive with it…”
“When I came to IUPUI I was fearful. Fearful of leaving everything I knew, fearful of the unknown, and fearful of failing.  I came from a small town named Bloomfield, with a population just under 2,000. Everyone knew everyone, there was one school K-12, and there were only two traffic lights. Needless to say, it was nothing compared to Indianapolis. 
“However, when I was accepted to IUPUI I became excited to attend. I conquered my fear head on and quickly learned it was all for not. IUPUI has been a welcoming school where we are like our own little community, just like my hometown. I soon found myself with multiple friends and involved in anything and everything here including Bridge week, our dance marathon for Riley Hospital, clubs, and many civic involvement opportunities.  At IUPUI if you RISE to the challenge you can truly be anything you want to be…”
“Again, thank you and congratulations Class of 2015. We did it!”