Chanda Thompson

Chanda Thompson

Chanda Thompson
Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, 2010
Master of Arts in Organizational Management, 2012

"I can only say that our time on this planet is short and I wish to touch as many lives as possible and experience as many different cultures as I can."

Chanda Thompson, 41, of Hagerstown, Maryland, is a single mother to four children, and has a story with which many single parents can sympathize. She had always wanted to finish her college education, but evening and weekend courses were simply not an option. In February 2007, after observing the increasing popularity of online education, Chanda enrolled in Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management online degree program.

Chanda participated in Ashford’s Smart Track program, which allowed her to complete graduate coursework. As soon as she finished the undergraduate degree in 2010, she enrolled in the Master of Arts in Organizational Management online degree program and, as of January 2012, she is a proud graduate with two degrees. Chanda was able to attend her graduation ceremony in Clinton, IA, for her Bachelor's degree. "The trip from Maryland to Iowa was worth it, and my sons were able to attend with me, which made it even more special. Earning my degree was a long time coming, and something I worked extremely hard to obtain. Reaching a goal such as this has made me more confident and given me reassurance that any task is obtainable. I can do it!"

Always on the lookout for opportunity, Chanda also took advantage of Ashford’s travel studies program, which involved an eight-day trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico. “The CNN documentary ‘Latino in America’ by Soledad O’Brien made me curious about Mexican culture. I wanted to have a better understanding of the language, and the ways the people actually live.”

What she found in Mexico was a country of “warm, loving, and hard-working individuals. They are dedicated to their culture and country. Before I left, everyone told me to be careful or asked, ‘Do you really want to go there with all the troubles they are encountering?’ But they were wrong. I felt safe. I developed a deep-rooted passion for the Mexican people, for their determination to uplift their country with faith and hope.”

The trip opened Chanda’s eyes to the opportunities around her. “The experience cannot be summed up in words or in a textbook. I can only say that our time on this planet is short and I wish to touch as many lives as possible and experience as many different cultures as I can. My goal has always been to have all my kids in college, but now I want them to see the world and experience different cultures, as well. Thank you Ashford University for the wonderful experience!”