May 2019I had many odds against me. I am the product of teen pregnancy, no one in my family has gone to college, and I come from a low-income family. One thing my dad always pushed on me was excellence in school and pursuing my education to a higher level. I am a first-generation American who grew up in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. I finished high school in Oklahoma as valedictorian and was able to go to college with scholarships and grants that covered almost everything; however, due to family circumstances, we left Oklahoma and moved back to Georgia. I came to Middle Georgia having already completed my first year of college in Oklahoma and learned that I would have to basically start over with only a few classes transferring over. Coming to Georgia, I did not have any scholarships that transferred and that was what I relied on financially to get me through college. I was a psychology major starting over and now relying on student loans and FAFSA. After being in school for two years at Middle Georgia State University, I realized I wanted to go in a different direction. After changing my major to education, I had just about exhausted my student loans and FAFSA while still having three semesters to go. I felt defeated and didn’t know what to do. I did not even know about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program or the Middle Georgia Consortium existed. Fortunately, the Middle Georgia Consortium came to my school, talked to us, and helped me continue and finish my education. Because of the Middle Georgia Consortium and WIOA, I am the first person in my family to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Special Education. I did this while simultaneously completing my first year of teaching. I am forever grateful to the Middle Georgia Consortium and the dream they helped me pursue!
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