Tara Westover, bestselling author of the autobiography, “Educated,” was this year's Freshman Convocation speaker. Her story is one of perseverance — escaping the clutches of a family who kept her from receiving public education and finding a way to educate herself. She attended Brigham Young University and was presented the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. 

In her address to the freshman and others attending the convocation in the Brick Breeden Field House at 7:30 on Thursday, Aug. 22, she shared a story from the heart. The way she spoke was humble and relatable, intriguing the audience. One of her greatest realizations was that women can have ambition. Her message was centered around the reality of life without education, and what a privilege school is. She prompted the audience by asking what holds us back, highlighting Isaiah Berlin’s ideas of negative liberty (freedom from physical limitations and barriers) and positive liberty (freedom from mental and emotional obstacles). Westover’s advice is to spend your life focussed on learning.