Mary Osei: Tenacity in the Face of Adversity

by Sarah Holland

Mary Osei: Tenacity in the Face of Adversity

Mary Osei
BIS in Early Childhood Special Education

When Mary Osei immigrated to the United States from Ghana, she was told her two degrees meant nothing. Mary simply replied, “Yes, you can take my papers, but you cannot take my brain.”

Mary became a teacher’s assistant in Fairfax County Public Schools, hoping to one day return to school and get her degree in education in order to become an educator. “As a grandmother, I am learning to continue working towards my goals which is leading me to my passion in the field of education.”

She remembered being scared her first days on campus, worrying that she didn’t belong. “As an adult learner, I felt a little intimidated coming on campus for the first time,” she said. “However, Dr. Kurt Lazaroff made me feel like I belong here.” Lasaroff became her advisor as well. Mary soon realized that she was not alone on her journey, and soon fell in love with her courses and her experiences at Mason.

“I have gained knowledge from my professors, advisers, and many staff members here at Mason. I have also had a chance to work with and learn from my peers,” she said. “I will proudly say I am one of the luckiest students who has truly benefited from their professors, not only in the classroom but they also share their knowledge to further my learning towards my career.”

Mary hopes to find a teaching position for the 2020-21 school year, and she plans to begin coursework at Mason for her master’s degree this fall.

“No matter the circumstances you face, education is for everyone and education has no end. Through everything, I have gained what I love to do.”