You would think that would be enough examples of achieving a higher education and leading through example, right? Well, fast forward 13 years. Now a family of 5, my mother realized she needed a new career. Her one college regret, was not following her initial dream to become a teacher because of the College Algebra credit requirement. It was time for a change. We moved to a single income family and my mother would return to the college classroom ready to tackle Algebra. At the time I was in middle school and can remember the financial adjustments our family made to make ends meet. We threw newspapers, delivered phone books, & shopped at thrift stores. I watched as the “family tribe” stepped in to help make the dream of a new beginning happen for my mother. My father took on the extra work of raising all 3 of us while my mom studied. As the oldest, I can remember endless hours in lines at the Lilliard building watching siblings while my mom enrolled in classes, bought books, and applied for financial aid. Her final school semester included a full student teaching internship, a full right arm cast, and the upcoming June arrival of my youngest sister. To say my mother refuses to allow obstacles to stop her from achieving something, would be an understatement. That May, she completed her 2nd degree from UCO; a Bachelor in Elementary Education. She went into the elementary classroom in what turned into a 27-year career as a public school teacher. My mother’s return to the college classroom and the positive support she received as an adult student instilled even more examples for generational change.
The people around you can either motivate you to persist or distract you from your goals. It is up to you to refuse admission to detractors and carefully select your battle buddies who are going to stand with you.
Check back for the final part 4 of this series.