Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, 2011
"I now realize that there is nothing I cannot accomplish in my life."
Wanda White is no stranger to challenges. She lost her father at age 12 and a strained relationship with her mother caused her to leave home and live on her own at age 16. She was able to support herself with a job and still attend and finish high school in her Indiana hometown. Years later, the idea to pursue a college education as a stay-at-home mom with two kids was simply another challenge to take on. "I had been thinking of returning to school for some time, and my children helped inspire me to pursue it," explains White. She got a call from Ashford enrollment advisor Lori Nava and asked her a lot of questions. Nava took the time to make sure White understood the programs that AU offered. "Lori put my mind at ease about making this life-changing decision."
"Being a good role model for my children is something that I am adamant about. I not only want my children but others to know that having a college education is essential in this high tech world of today," adds White.
White graduated from high school in 1990 and was married shortly thereafter. She's been married to her high school sweetheart for 16 years and has two kids despite doctors telling her she may never have children. Over the years, she was able to slowly repair the relationship with her mother, but one month after giving birth to her daughter, her mother passed away. "I know if my parents were here today they would be proud of my accomplishments.
"I hope to inspire my children and show them that with hard work, a positive attitude and a good support system, it's possible to achieve your goals," continues White. After graduating, she hopes to start a career in management, possibly human resources or hospital administration. She is also considering continuing her education by seeking a Master's.
White credits her children, Colt (8) and Lorelei (2), her husband, Forrest, and the team at Ashford University for supporting her and helping her get to this point. "I have had nothing but great experiences with AU, and the team at AU lets you know that you are not on this new journey alone. And I would not be able achieve my goals without the support and love from of my wonderful husband and my two wonderful children."
Juggling college and family life is one of White's biggest challenges as she starts her fifth course with Ashford in the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management program. "My children keep me very busy, but the challenges keep me motivated to achieve greatness. With all the trials that I have had in my life and now that I have children of my own, I realize that life is too short to not reach for the stars and believe that dreams can come true.
"Since starting at Ashford, I have been living my life with more of a positive attitude, and having more confidence in myself. Knowing that I can learn on a college level has definitely contributed to my new attitude about life and my ability to achieve all my goals. I am working for a better and brighter future for my family."
Wanda, 40, has completed her degree program - in August of 2011 she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management with a minor in Psychology and a specialization in Human Resources. She has these inspiring words to offer: "I started college not knowing if I could learn on a college level; now I am doing great. I have a new outlook on life, and I know that making the decision to return to school in January 2007 was one of the best things that have happened to me (second only to my children and my husband of twenty years). I now realize that there is nothing I cannot accomplish in my life."
Wanda also made a point to express her gratitude for the staff at Ashford. "I want to thank everyone at Ashford for the time they have invested in my education. Special thanks go to Lori Nava (admissions counselor), who has been with me through this great experience since day one, and to Joshua Mers (academic advisor), who is just a phone call away whenever I need anything."