I remember fondly my young, idealistic self who went to college the first go around as an English major. My goal was that I wanted to be an investment broker. I had big plans that I would make tons of money and then settle in and have a family and then use my degree to teach secondary education.
Well, life had other things in plan for me. I still love to read and write but I didn’t find my path as an English major. Although I can talk a good game about my favorite tale from the Canterbury Tales or tell you all about how I believe The Great Gatsby to be one of the best American novels there is.
My life took a turn my junior year of college when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she was not able to pay my tuition anymore. To compound the situation, I could not qualify for financial aid because I was attached to my parents’ income. With all this going on, I felt it was better to find my own way, and I moved to Lee’s Summit, got a job as a preschool teacher, and continued to work on finishing my degree at the community college. I got married and had my first child, and I still held fast to my old dreams of having my degree, but through teaching at Headstart, I learned that I wanted to be involved with children and education.
Finally, years have passed and I have two great kids, a hubby and three furchildren. This is not the life that I had imagined leading but wow, I’m so thankful that this is the path that God placed for me. Through my job as a paraprofessional at the high school in town, I found another path that God wanted me to take. I gained interest through my experience in special education. When I was sent an e-mail about the Pathways program at Fontbonne, I knew it was a God thing.
Through the Pathways program, I have gained knowledge about the disabilities that various students face and how I can better help guide their paths. I have learned everything from how to test students for reading disabilities to other handicaps. This, and the encouragement from the staff of the Pathways program and my instructors, has helped me to not only gain confidence in my chosen major, Special Education, but to gain confidence in myself and my ability in the classroom and in life.
I am constantly being asked about the program by my friends and others who find out that I’m going back to school. They are not only curious where Fontbonne is but how the online classes work. The classes are challenging, but the ability to do my work form home and make my own schedule is a blessing. The professors and advisers that I have came into contact with are more than willing to help my in my pursuit of a degree, and I truly feel that they are some of my best cheerleaders.
I hope this finds you on the path that God has set for you.