How one grad refused to become just another statistic

Walden University
Photo credit: Lisa Godfrey

DEGREE EARNED: BS in Political Science and Public Administration

REJECTING THE STATISTICS: I was six months pregnant with twins when I graduated high school. I found it too difficult to go to college with two babies to care for. But I told myself I was going to get my degree—it was my dream, and I refused to be just another statistic.

KEEPING PROMISES: My twins were juniors in high school when I decided to enroll at Walden; I also had a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old. There were plenty of times I wanted to quit, but I had promised my children and myself that I was going to do this. I ended up graduating in May 2013, one month before my twins graduated high school. I inspired my daughter to go to college because she saw how hard I worked for my degree.

WORKING ROUND THE CLOCK: I never would have finished with a traditional program. Because of Walden’s online format, I could study at 5 o’clock in the morning before I took my children to school. After I put them to bed, I would study until midnight, go to sleep, and then wake up early to do it all over again. Every free moment I had, I was studying—even during my lunch hour at work. Just juggling everything was the biggest challenge for me. But it was so worth it.

BUILDING A SUPPORT SYSTEM: My Walden professors understood my need to take care of my children. They supported me whether I needed to turn in an assignment late or if I had a question about my coursework. My kids were incredibly supportive; the twins would help babysit while I was studying because they knew what it meant to me. I also had classmates who were facing the same challenges as me. I was part of a community of adult learners—people with families and jobs, who still wanted to go for their dreams and succeed.

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: When I looked at my final grades and my GPA was a 3.5, meaning I was graduating cum laude, I couldn’t believe it. I surpassed my own expectations; I never thought I would graduate with honors. That was the proudest I’ve ever been—I still tear up when I talk about it.

BIGGEST CHANGE SINCE EARNING MY DEGREE: I was promoted within six months of being on the job. I started out as a temporary administrative assistant, but when our office manager announced she was leaving, my supervisor came to me and told me he thought I would be perfect for the job. He saw that my degree had prepared me for a wide variety of responsibilities. I wouldn’t have been nearly as qualified if I didn’t have the educational background that I got from Walden. — K.G.

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