GCU News Desk
Online students overcome all sorts of hurdles to graduate, but here’s one we’ve never heard of before: She answered the chat questions while on the job.
Here’s what several people who graduated on Tuesday said about their experience:
“My journey towards my master’s degree has been quite an adventure. I started this degree knowing that teaching was where my heart pulled me. At the time, I had a 2 year old and a 1 year old who kept me very busy. I was working full time as the assistant director of a daycare, but I knew I had to do more for myself and my family.
“As soon as I started my study program, I was hired as a special education teacher in fourth grade. I had never given a class in my life and jumped in strong, learning as I went. My program at GCU has been amazing in supporting my teaching career and helping me provide the best instruction to my students.
“About five months into my first school year as both teacher and student, I found out I was pregnant with my third baby. I felt I had way too much to do and couldn’t keep up. Pregnancy didn’t treat me well, and I was sick and miserable. I seriously wanted to give up.
“My husband was working out of town for weeks at a time, and I was doing this on my own. But I decided I wasn’t just going to give up on something so important to me, and I wanted to move on. before and show my children that I could do difficult things.
“I had my third baby two weeks into a new class. I remember thinking the timing couldn’t have been worse. In fact, I remember responding to chat messages during labor !
“After my baby girl was born, I spent many nights awake with her and working on papers at the same time, trying to navigate life with three children under the age of 4 and functioning without sleep.
“I’m so grateful that I made the decision to move forward and prove to myself and my family that I could do it. Here I am today, the first in my family to earn a master’s degree. , showing my kids that anything is possible. Mom did.
“My father died on February 4, 2021, two days after my parents’ 67th birthday and my mother’s 82nd birthday. I wanted to complete my Masters in Career Counseling, which I started in 2009, to fulfill a promise I made to my parents. Once I re-registered I told my mum in person and let my dad know – I talk to him all the time even though he is gone.
“My mother passed away on October 8, 2021 of complications from West Nile virus. I say she too died of a broken heart since she and my father had been together for 68 years. I told her it was OK that she let go so she could be with dad. They had a great life together and raised seven of us to be grown ups. I’m the baby of seven and I’m one of two with a college education.
“I am a single mother of a 30 year old son. My parents did the most to help me raise him – I was the only child who was a single parent.
“My son and my father were best friends. I am very grateful to my son, who spent a lot of time with his grandparents, especially in their golden years, when he could have hung out with people from his age. Instead, he was there whenever his grandparents needed him, and he was also one of my biggest supporters, even after having a horrible 2021 with the passing of his two grandparents.
“I always appreciated the support of my parents because they could have abandoned me when I was younger and did a lot of stupid things. I could have ended up in prison or died – that was the kind of life I led until I gave birth to my son. I knew I had to turn around. »
“My graduate studies began to be fully underway in 2017, but at the end of August of that year, Hurricane Harvey forced me to take a leave of absence and change my program to counseling – I felt obligated to help others who were in the shelter with me.
“I helped take care of my aging father-in-law and take care of the house which is still mostly made up of poles because we don’t have the funds to fix it. I also had to deal with my dog having a cancerous lump removed, my husband losing and gaining jobs, my mother becoming a survivor of domestic violence (I flew to be with her for almost a month), while studying for my classes.
“Often our true passions emerge in childhood. I lost both parents as a teenager in high school. However, I had to learn early on that my strength was in my struggle.
“After my parents died, my high school and college teachers inspired me. I was able to adopt the values that my parents taught me to become who I had to become in life.
“I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies. In memory of my parents, I received my Masters in Education from GCU on Tuesday. I am an educator who has drawn on my own trials in life to improve the lives of children and their families.
“My motto in life is Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your way.
“I live in South Central Pennsylvania and started my journey towards a GCU degree in June 2017. My husband was sick and in a nursing home. My mother was sick too. My husband died in 2019 and my mother in 2021, but I continued to care for them, working full time, being an active member of the church.
“It wasn’t easy, but I stayed dedicated to my online studies because I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t complete this task that seemed so insurmountable. I still work full time, and although I had to take some time off, I graduated with a BA in Christian Studies with a major in Bible Studies.
“My three adult daughters all live out of state and are so excited, especially because they remember how passionate I was about each of them getting college degrees. They did really well, so they were some of my biggest supporters and encouraged me to stay on track. Sometimes I felt like they were giving the mode of discipline I used back to them, but to God be the glory.
“I am retiring next year from my job at a major university here in Pennsylvania after 34 years there. I have also ministered and preached in various churches as well as my own, and my prayer is to be a motivational and inspirational speaker after the retreat.
“I would like to go ahead and travel where God sends me and use the tools that GCU has so wonderfully passed on to me.”
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