August 2011—Moving to a new country, working full time as a police officer and surviving a car crash were just a few of the challenges Kadian Gobay ’11 faced when working to complete her MS in Psychology degree at Walden University. She recognizes that without the full support of her friend and confidant Philip Lewis, she may not have finished the program on time.

“Philip does not have a diploma of any sort,” Gobay explains. “But he is a great believer in education and is dedicated to the cause of creating a better world. By investing his time and effort in me, he has shown his dedication to effecting positive social change in society.”

Gobay moved from her native Jamaica to the island of Bermuda three years ago, leaving her family and friends behind and starting challenging work as a police officer who performs shift and patrol duties. “As if the challenge of a new environment and job wasn’t enough, I decided to pursue my master’s degree at Walden,” she says.

When it came to actually completing her application, though, it was Lewis who gave Gobay the final push. At 2 a.m. one day, he visited her while on a break from work and woke her up to urge her to complete her personal essay. “After realizing how dedicated he was to me starting and completing my graduate degree, I ensured the final piece of the application was completed on time,” she says.

From that point forward, Lewis supported Gobay at every step in pursuing her master’s degree. He allowed her use of his computer and Internet service and had her back up her work on his hard drive. He proofread all of her papers, even after a long day of work as a traffic collision expert testifying in the Supreme Court of Bermuda. He even purchased and read psychology textbooks, she explains, “So he could give me better constructive criticism and guidance.”

On Sept. 28, 2010, Gobay was a passenger in a police car that flipped several times and left her suffering from a concussion and other injuries. Lewis remained at her side, urging her to complete her coursework. “Due to his overwhelming support, I was able to continue and complete my degree on time,” she says.

“Philip never complained or refused to assist me. When I was negative, he was always positive. He deserves the Above and Beyond Award for supporting me during this amazing, life-changing experience as a graduate student at Walden.”

About the Award
The Above and Beyond Award is presented annually to a friend or family member of a graduating student whose support goes above and beyond the call of duty and makes it possible for the graduate to achieve her or his goal.

Read more about the Above and Beyond Award and past recipients.

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