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I started Tennessee State University (TSU) after high school and was the first of my generation to go to college. I majored in social work, because I wanted to help people. Then, I fell in love and got married two years later. With a baby on the way, I had to put my degree on hold. I remember attending my husband’s graduation and feeling a great void. That was my class, and I was supposed to be walking across that stage getting my diploma.
Then a second baby came, so school was no longer a priority. I ended up working for BellSouth for more than 30 years. I had a good job, but I still felt that void.
One day, I left a doctor’s appointment and headed up the hill in front of Belmont. I glanced up and noticed those big white columns. They had caught my attention so many years ago when I was in the neighborhood with my mother dropping off dry cleaning.
I felt the spirit of the Lord moving me. It was a strong urging…If you do not make the decision today to go back to school, then you never will. It was a hot day, and the air conditioner was out on my old Honda. I remember that distinctly, but I pulled into Belmont. I went up to the front and struggled to open those heavy doors. I told the person at the front desk that I was there to finish my degree. I got an enrollment packet and immediately drove over to TSU to get my transcript and bring it back to Belmont.
The experience at Belmont has been life-changing. I’ve learned about different countries and cultures from the courses. I’ve learned a lot from other students in my classes. The support system in the Adult Degree Program is so strong. Even though I graduated in December 2010 and have my Ministry degree, I still call my advisor. The people at Belmont show true concern and care for the students. Plus, my daughters, my co-workers and my church family have also been great. Of course, throughout it all, my faith was a pivotal force in my graduating. Without that network, I never would have made it.