A Centers for Disease Control public health analyst overcomes challenges and loss to achieve her longtime goal of completing an advanced degree.

Posted by Jen Raider
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012

What inspired you to pursue an advanced degree at Walden University?

Divia Forbes and Family
Divia Forbes and Family

It has always been one of my personal goals to return to school and pursue an advanced degree. Because my husband was in the military, we moved around a lot early in my career and I continually had to start over. I saw the opportunity to return to school and pursue my Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) at Walden as a chance not only to accomplish my goal of higher education, but also to advance my current career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where I work as a public health analyst studying molecular clusters for tuberculosis to help detect outbreaks.

While I have been on my educational journey, my three children have also been engaged in their own higher education pursuits. Each of them was an inspiration to me and continually motivated me to finish my degree.

Did you experience any challenges while pursuing your master’s degree at Walden?

Divia Forbes working
Divia Forbes at work
at the CDC in Atlanta

During my time at Walden, I overcame a number of challenges that made attending winter commencement a very exciting accomplishment for me. I lost both my father and mother during the time I was pursuing my degree––they were two of my biggest champions to return to school. My husband was also sent to South Africa for two years for work, making me the primary parent to our children. I decided not to accompany my husband because of my commitment to my education. Also, my eldest son was sent to Afghanistan to serve back-to-back 12-month tours, so my thoughts and focus were frequently on his safety. During this difficult time, I often thought about giving up and dropping out, but everyone told me to stick with it. Because I made a promise to my parents, family, and most importantly to myself, I forged ahead.

What’s on the horizon for you?

I am currently looking at how I can apply my Walden education to my work at the CDC as well as pursue my passion for studying health disparities and other diseases. I am also considering returning to Walden in the near future to pursue my Ph.D.!

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