Anthony and Kimberly Price left high school before graduating, yet today they both have Walden University master’s degrees and successful careers. They’re also thinking about returning to Walden for their doctorates in the near future.
Earlier in their lives together, these outcomes were far from assured. Though he envisioned returning to school someday, Anthony joined the military in 1980 and married Kimberly in 1981. After his military career, Anthony worked various positions in the trucking industry, including driving a commercial truck.
Kimberly started her career in education as a food service worker, a custodian, and then as a paraprofessional in an Atlanta school. She later earned recognition as Fulton County Schools Support Professional of the Year in 2002. School administrators encouraged her to pursue a degree and certification in education.
Now, Kimberly holds a MS in Education with a specialization in Reading and Literacy she earned from Walden in 2005 and an EdS in Administration and Supervision she earned in 2008. She also has her leadership certification. “Walden was the catalyst for my love of teaching reading and boosted my confidence to support others,” she says. “I consider myself an expert in the area, and my colleagues look to me for advice.”
For the past eight years, Kimberly has taught at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in Atlanta, where she is currently a third grade co-teacher and coordinator of the after-school extended learning program for students who are struggling academically. She says, “The most gratifying part of my job comes from knowing that I have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Kimberly also set an example for Anthony, who began his higher education in 2007. He’d seen how she’d successfully managed their shared family responsibilities, her full-time job, and a Walden education. Kimberly recalls, “I don’t remember any stress. An online program is convenient. You just take your laptop with you and set aside the time.”
Anthony adds, “Once she went back to school, I knew it was something I needed to do, too. I finally did, and it’s already paying off for me.” Today, he’s a 2013 Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate and an operations supervisor for FedEx who oversees more than 70 employees in Atlanta. Eventually, he’d like to start his own company, turning his passion for cars and motorcycles into a full-scale detailing and restoration business.
“I recognized that I didn’t want to drive for the rest of my life and knew that with a higher degree I would be able to move into management,” Anthony says. “Through my coursework, I learned how to research and improve work processes to achieve even greater success.”
His concentration in leadership has proven particularly helpful. “I communicate and delegate better, and I’m more confident interacting with my co-workers and direct reports,” Anthony explains. “My manager even told me I’ve become a better leader.”
He gives ample credit to Kimberly for his successful educational journey. “I couldn’t have done it without her,” he says. “Her support, especially when I first started, kept me going. She and other members of my family helped me by always offering words of encouragement.”
Anthony has a new educational goal: to earn his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Walden. Kimberly says, “His mindset has changed. Now that he’s earned his degree, he’s ready to continue on, even before I am.”
He explains his motivation by saying, “I want to inspire my wife and daughters, and my nieces and nephews, to show them they can go as far as they want.”
Anthony also offers encouragement to new Walden students returning to school after a long absence. He advises, “Never doubt yourself. You can do it. You will have a lot of support. Reach out to faculty whenever you need them. They are always available to help. Also, no matter how hard it may seem at times, the end result will be worth the challenges.”