I’ll never forget when my 44 year old single mother of two told me that she was going to start college. I remember questioning that and quickly passing it off. She had a number of motivations: it would afford her advancement opportunities at work, it was a goal she had always put off, it would create a social outlet where she could meet and interact with people and it would set a good example for her boys. Despite all of those, after her gap in schooling (and at this point in her life), she didn’t seem to be acting with a lot common sense to me. She would probably tell you I say that about most everything she does.

Fast forward five years, my mom now has associates and bachelor degrees under her belt. After completing her associates she had fulfilled her initial motivation – career advancement. She proved that she did know what she was doing, much to my surprise. However, the most powerful and meaningful work was being done unbeknownst to both of us: her self confidence was now soaring. Completing classes, getting good grades, putting educated thoughts together, successfully interacting with classmates – all of these things brought my mom’s confidence, self worth, and social skills to places they hadn’t been in 25 years. She kept going – classes, good grades and knowledge became her life-blood; I got to witness first hand as my 40 something year old mother blossomed into new person.
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Graduation is just around the corner for many of you this coming May and I know many of our nurses just participated in a Pinning Ceremony – achieving their initial goals of coming to ATA. As we reflect, congratulate and bid farewell to some I want to remind our current (and future) students the power completing goals can have in our lives. I enjoy telling my mom’s story to new students I meet with; I see so many people each day who step foot in here dejected by current work situations, unsure of their availability to balance school around family and convinced that it has been too long since they were in school last. Take the leap – just do it – aside from any money or promotion, you’ll be amazed what fulfilling this goal will do in your life personally and the impact it will have on your children and family. In the least, prove that snotty headed teenager that he’s wrong!

-Matt Sherfield

ATA College Admissions Representative

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