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Education Opens Doors
(Continued from 1)

I finally graduated from college last year at age 44 with a GPA of 3.8, after attending part time and working full time for eleven long years! I know that graduating from college is an everyday occurrence for most people but not for me. It had taken a long time and I knew that degree meant more to me than it did to most of the young kids around me.

The decision to return to school has changed my life so drastically I don’t recognize myself today as that scared young mother who took the giant leap of faith and returned to school. The education has given me much more than a business degree. It has made me a different person. I am no longer so afraid of new experiences. I know I have the talent and skills to learn and grow. I have the proven ability to take whatever comes my way and make it into something good in my life.

I hope to use my experience to encourage other women to go to school. I know how discouraging life can be as a young mother with limited career options. Even while in school I sometimes wondered if I would ever reach that long awaited goal of graduation. Continuing semester after semester while working wasn’t fun. I know I missed out on a lot of activities with friends and family but it was worthwhile in the long run and I met a lot of interesting people along the way. It is still hard for me to believe I have actually graduated after so long.

Currently I am employed in student financial aid at that same community college where my journey began so long ago. I spend my days working with many young single mothers helping them find aid for their college education. I am so proud to have this opportunity to help others improve their lives through education, as I have done. It took me quite a while but I finally learned the benefits of a good education and reached out to acquire one for myself.

As I graduated with my BS in Management and Marketing recently, I thought of the most important thing I had learned along the way. It wasn’t statistics or management styles. Not even public speaking or writing, although those are all valuable classes. It was that this may just be the beginning for me. Education has opened so many doors and I now have so many more options available to me. My new life is filled with endless possibilities for the future! And I am finally open to them all.

Elizabeth Solazzo is employed in the student financial aid office at a community college where she spends her days working with many adult students helping them find aid for their college education.

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