In 2004 my husband thanked me for supporting him while he completed his degree and vowed to return the favor. Seven months after that, we welcomed our firstborn son into the world. Josiah was born prematurely, suffered a brain hemorrhage, and as a result, received the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
A total of twelve years and four children later, my husband surprised me by submitting all of the application paperwork for Motlow on my behalf. I was stunned. My turn had arrived. My baby girl would begin kindergarten in the fall of 2016, and I would start college in the spring of 2017.
I had been a decent student in high school, but that was nearly twenty years before this. I was anxious about starting at Motlow for so many reasons. Could I do the work? Could I find my classes? Would I be older than my professors? What happens if I am a terrible student? Will my family be ok?
I began taking classes through the Adult College Express (ACE) program, which offers one intensive course at a time in the evenings. I walked into my first class with Dr. Adams and felt invigorated. One class became two, and two became a full course load. Before I knew it, I was fully entrenched and at home in the Motlow State Community College family. I became a Motlow Student Ambassador where I met so many wonderful students, faculty and staff members.
With every new face, I learned another encouraging account of academic success by nontraditional means. I graduated after just seventeen months with an A.S. in psychology. I earned the President’s Award for my 4.0 GPA. I transferred to Middle Tennessee State University with ease because of the relationship between the two institutions, and my education at Motlow prepared me to excel in the bachelor’s degree program.
I was awarded enough scholarship money to attend debt-free and I will graduate summa cum laude from MTSU in May 2020. I am majoring in communication: culture and social influence and minoring in psychology. I am the president of the communication honor society, Lambda Pi Eta and I won the 2019 Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award from the Tennessee Communication Association.
Motlow gave me a safe place to learn about the process of higher education while challenging me to grow as a person and a scholar. I will be forever grateful to my Motlow family for helping me navigate the twists and turns of real adult life and academic success. Go Bucks!