I served with the US Coast Guard out of high school including time in the Gulf war before I went to college in Syracuse NY. Unfortunately, before I could finish life got in the way, and I left before I got my degree.
I have worked in the IT industry for 25 years. I am married with a 16-year-old son, and a daughter of that is 20. I have numerous technical certifications and have a great deal of corporate training. Positions were given to me based on my experience and knowledge. Within the past five years I began to expand out to look for other opportunities and was widely interviewed, there was a lot of interest in my skills in IT Security and my management experience. I had some potential employers told me that I had the knowledge, abilities, and experience, I just didn’t have that piece of paper. I was very frustrated, and that was enough to convince me it was time to go back to school.
I had to come up with the time and the money to get it done. I adjusted my position and workload to allow me the freedom of time. I decided I would work a 40 to 50 hour week and go back to school. The reconnect program removed the barrier of money. It made it, so I didn’t need to take money away from my family to put towards my education. It also made it so I could take more than 1 class at a time. I could finish my degree sooner.
I was very conscious of both my son and daughter watching me carefully during this time. They began to see how much time and effort I had to put in to go to school. They saw me finish my work day and go to class and do homework. They heard me talk about my experiences and my assignments. They saw my grades and the reaction from my peers and teachers as I got a 4.0 in all my classes. I have become a bit of a roll model that will hopefully have a positive impact on their future.
I should finish my degree at the end of the summer with an AS in General Studies. I then plan to continue to my BS at another school.