Community Relations

Drive to 55

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Deciding to get an education is one of the best life decisions you can make. For me, it wasn't an easy one. At the age of 25 I found myself with a newborn baby and a fifteen month old and having to quit my job because I couldn't afford day care for two. Not being able to provide for my children was a burden too heavy to carry. A year later I committed to getting an education. It was hard. It was work. There was hours of reading and research and writing. And hours of laundry and housework and taking care of babies. And two part-time jobs. I sacrificed everything for a dream of a better life. Education was my pathway to a better life. It was life changing in ways I never expected. My thought processes began to change. Learning shattered my limiting belief structures and opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I also became a student of myself. I starting asking: What am I good at? What do I like to do? What job would be a good fit for me? In looking back, if I had to summarize my experience it would be, "Getting an education gives you the ability to make better decisions and provide you and your loved ones with a better quality of life." I can't tell you how hard it will be. I wanted to quit a thousand times. I had $60,000 in student loans and credit card debt from trying to survive those years. (I also had a third child between my junior and senior year and didn't graduate until I was 30!) Quitting was not an option. I needed that degree. It would open doors for me that would not be available if I quit. You have a better option, one that offers you the same opportunity without having to go into debt. It won't be easy. You will have to commit and work hard. Growth does not come without pain; but the rewards from getting an education will allow you to live the life you dream about . Michelle Dolan

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