Thursday, June 9, 2011

EDITORIAL: Educated Women I Admire- Katie

by Erika Martin

Education Columnist

This week, I'm continuing with another woman that I admire for taking steps to pursue a higher education. Katie Marden is 37 years old and graduated last month from Blue Ridge Community College and I had the opportunity to interview her about her experiences, her motivation and what her future plans are. Her story is inspiring and encourages me to keep pushing onward and upward with my own education.

When I asked Katie what level of schooling she has completed, she shared that her current degree is an Associates in Applied Science for Nursing. Now that she has completed this part of her schooling, she's eligible to take the Virgina state board test to get her RN license. In addition to the credits she needed to achieve for her associates degree, she will also have to complete 500 clinical hours in patient care and/or education during the next 5 years. Previous to receiving her current associates degree, Katie also earned an Associates Degree in Business and Accounting from a correspondence college.

Katie admits that she had several obstacles while achieving her associates degree. She feels that she was one of her own obstacles. This was due to wondering if she was absolutely sure it was something she wanted to do and if it really was something she could do because it was time consuming and it was a rigorous program. She also felt that perhaps she was too old or her brain was too tired to take something like this on. She quickly found help and support from her fellow classmates. They studied together, encouraged each other, and prayed for each other. Having good and bad clinical days during later semesters, while caring for patients that were both amazing and challenging, Katie knew that she was doing what she was called to do and knew she couldn't not finish.

Another obstacle that Katie faced were the needs in her life. When she first started, she was working at 20-hour a week and her marriage was falling apart. A few months later, she found herself as a single mom with two children. Everyone in her life came together and did whatever it took to keep her and her kids together and to help her finish her goal. At a time when Katie felt personally low and like a failure, her support group wouldn't let her believe it and they believed in her dream and in her. She says that she never could have done it alone.

When I asked Katie what her biggest feelings of accomplishment were when it comes to pursuing her education, she said that she truly feels that this has been a faith-building experience for her. She knows that God put this gift in front of her and helped her to be brave enough to take it on. She also knew that she had done the right thing when she saw the looks on her children's faces when she graduated. They wanted her to finish just as much as she did and they are proud that their mom is a nurse. Katie believes that when you have a passion and you find times in life when you feel like something bigger than you is using you, follow that passion and set a good example.

I asked Katie what advice she would give to women and girls when it pertains to their education. I think her own words serve her best. "First, it is never too late and sometimes late timing is better. Most of my fellow classmates, I was very surprised to find, were moms or grandmothers with kids and this was a second career, a dream. Because many of us were passionate, we had maturity, we knew we did not want to get kicked out and because we had to maintain an 80% test average or hit the road, we put our heads down and pulled through.

I have a 12 year old daughter and I am not going to push her to college as soon as she graduates high school. I am going to encourage her passions, let her explore her strengths, serve if she wants (her heart right now is in Africa), and be a good role model on working and serving to the best that I can. I hope to provide that same sort of education-rich percolating environment that got me moving in later life that will fertilize her dreams. When she needs education to be more effective in what she feels called to do, then I plan to help her in that and I have a feeling she will be more passionate and responsible with all that than otherwise."

About the columnist:

Erika Martin was withheld from attaining her high school diploma and a higher education due to living in a spiritually abusive upbringing. She is currently working towards attaining her high school diploma and plans to pursue a degree in Psychology after graduation this June. Erika will highlight relevant news and information that relates to education as well as chronicle her journey toward her diploma.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...