Law student overcomes malaria, father’s death to graduate as valedictorian
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Law student overcomes malaria, father’s death to graduate as valedictorian

TO WESH DOT COM. IT IS GRADUATION SEASON, AND WHETHER YOU’RE GRADUATING FROM KINDERGARTEN OR COLLEGE, IT IS A QUANTUM LEAP AND IT’S ONE YOU WILL NEVER FORGET. TONIGHT, GAIL PASCHALL-BROWN TELLS US ABOUT ONE FAMU LAW GRADUATE WHO OVERCAME ADVERSITY AND ROSE TO THE TOP OF HIS CLASS. ANDRE AINSLEY. ANDRE OUSLEY WALKED ACROSS THE STAGE WITH A BIG SMILE AT FAMU COMMENCEMENT THIS PAST SATURDAY. IT’S A LITTLE UNREAL TO ME, YOU KNOW? IT WAS ALWAYS A DREAM OF MINE, HE FINISHED LAW SCHOOL AT THE TOP OF HIS CLASS, VALEDICTORIAN, MY COHORT. I BELIEVE, IS 98 STUDENTS AND MY GPA WAS A 3.76, UM, LIKE I SAID, I JUST DID. I PUT IN AS MUCH WORK AS I POSSIBLY CAN AND GOT HONORED TO WORK. BUT ALONG CAME ADVERSITIES TOO. THE FIRST YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL, HIS FATHER DIED. BEFORE HE PASSED. HE TOLD DAD HOW HARD SCHOOL WAS. HE WAS LIKE, SON, YOU HAVE BEEN. YOU HAVE BEEN BUILT FOR A DAY SUCH AS THIS OR A TIME SUCH AS THIS, YOU KNOW, AND THAT REALLY, I JUST WENT BACK TO THE THINGS I’VE BEEN DOING MY WHOLE LIFE AND THAT REALLY HELPED ME GET THROUGH. AND THEN MALARIA. WOW. ANDRE ALMOST DIED FROM MALARIA AFTER A WINTER BREAK TRIP TO GHANA, BUT THANKFULLY HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DROP OUT OF LAW SCHOOL. THE ABA RULES THEY DON’T. THERE IS NO ALLOWANCE FOR THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. EITHER YOU’RE THERE OR YOU’RE NOT. EVEN MALARIA. EVEN MALARIA OWSLEY’S OUTSIDE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS WILL BE RECOGNIZED THIS SATURDAY AT FAMU’S ANNUAL HOODING CEREMONY THAT’S GOING TO BE AT THE HYATT REGENCY GRAND CYPRESS IN ORLANDO. HE’S MARVELOUS. I, I, I SEE SUCH A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HIM. ANDRE OWSLEY’S LAW PROFESSOR PATRICIA BOUCHARD, HE’S SMART, HE’S HARDWORKING, HE’S AN ADULT. HE IS DEDICATED TO THE LAW. AS FAR AS ADVERSITIES GO. ANDRE OUSLEY SAYS LIFE IN GENERAL HAS THEM. BUT YOU LEARN FROM THEM. THOSE ADVERSITIES THAT YOU YOU BUILD ON THEM. SO WHEN YOU’RE IN THOSE HARD TIMES, REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE COME FROM, WHAT YOU HAVE WORKED YOURSELF THROUGH. FALL BACK ON THAT AFTER FOCUSING ON THE FLORIDA BAR EXAM, HE PLANS TO PURSUE A FEDERAL CLERKSHIP AND ULTIMATELY BECOME

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Law student overcomes malaria, father’s death to graduate as valedictorian

It is graduation season.Whether you’re graduating from kindergarten or college, it’s a quantum leap and one you’ll never forget — including one Florida A&M University law graduate who triumphed against adversity and rose to the top of his class.When the commencement announcer said, “Andre Ousley,” you could hear a scream.Ousley walked across the stage with a big smile at FAMU’s commencement this past Saturday.”It’s a little unreal to me. It’s always been a dream of mine,” he said.He finished law school at the top of his class — valedictorian.“My cohort, I believe, was 98 students and my GPA was a 3.76. I put in as much work as I possibly can and God honored the work,” Ousley said.But with success, along came adversities too. In the first year of law school, his father died.Before he died, Ousley told his dad how hard school was.”He was like, ‘Son, you have been built for a day such as this or a time like this.’ I just went back to the things I’ve been doing my whole life, and that really helped me get through — and then malaria.” Ousley said.He almost died from malaria after a winter break trip to Ghana. Thankfully, he didn’t have to drop out of law school.”ABA rules there is no allowance for those types of things, either you’re there or you’re not — even malaria,” he said. Ousely’s outstanding academic achievements were honored at the annual hooding ceremony.”He’s marvelous. I see such a bright future for him. He is so, as the church people say, ‘Blessed and Highly Favored,’ law professor Patricia Broussard said. “He’s smart, he’s hardworking. He’s an adult. He’s dedicated to the law, but I have to be very honest with you. I’m very, very biased because he is my teaching assistant.” As far as adversities go, Ousley says life in general has them, but you learn from them.”Those adversities, you build on them, and so when you’re in those hard times, remember what you have come from what you have worked yourself through, and through fall back on that,” Ousley said.After focusing on the Florida Bar exam, he plans to pursue a federal clerkship and ultimately become a judge.

It is graduation season.

Whether you’re graduating from kindergarten or college, it’s a quantum leap and one you’ll never forget — including one Florida A&M University law graduate who triumphed against adversity and rose to the top of his class.

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When the commencement announcer said, “Andre Ousley,” you could hear a scream.

Ousley walked across the stage with a big smile at FAMU’s commencement this past Saturday.

“It’s a little unreal to me. It’s always been a dream of mine,” he said.

He finished law school at the top of his class — valedictorian.

“My cohort, I believe, was 98 students and my GPA was a 3.76. I put in as much work as I possibly can and God honored the work,” Ousley said.

But with success, along came adversities too. In the first year of law school, his father died.

Before he died, Ousley told his dad how hard school was.

“He was like, ‘Son, you have been built for a day such as this or a time like this.’ I just went back to the things I’ve been doing my whole life, and that really helped me get through — and then malaria.” Ousley said.

He almost died from malaria after a winter break trip to Ghana. Thankfully, he didn’t have to drop out of law school.

“ABA rules there is no allowance for those types of things, either you’re there or you’re not — even malaria,” he said.

Ousely’s outstanding academic achievements were honored at the annual hooding ceremony.

“He’s marvelous. I see such a bright future for him. He is so, as the church people say, ‘Blessed and Highly Favored,’ law professor Patricia Broussard said.He’s smart, he’s hardworking. He’s an adult. He’s dedicated to the law, but I have to be very honest with you. I’m very, very biased because he is my teaching assistant.”

As far as adversities go, Ousley says life in general has them, but you learn from them.

“Those adversities, you build on them, and so when you’re in those hard times, remember what you have come from what you have worked yourself through, and through fall back on that,” Ousley said.

After focusing on the Florida Bar exam, he plans to pursue a federal clerkship and ultimately become a judge.

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