Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
"With God and determination, all things are possible."
A resident of Tifton, Georgia, Galia Savage, 42, is a single mom to 14-year-old Jessica and 8-year-old Bricin. She graduated from Tift County High School in 1986 and immediately enrolled at Valdosta State University. Unfortunately, health issues caused her to drop out of college. Over twenty years later, Galia decided it was time to finish what she started. "There are two factors that made me pursue my degree - my daughter and my son."
In 2008, she overheard a couple of her coworkers talking about Ashford University, and she realized that this opportunity was the one for which she had been looking. Today, she is well on her way to earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, and plans to graduate in March 2013. "Enrolling at Ashford was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It will be so awesome once I finish - it is like a dream for me to get this degree."
Like most single mothers, Galia says her biggest challenge is time. "Both of my children are active in sports. My daughter plays basketball and my son plays baseball and football." But Galia has uncovered an incredible ability to make it all work. "I don't miss a practice or a game. I don't miss any events that they may have at school. I work 40 hours per week and most of our weekends are booked far in advance, but I have never been late with a homework assignment or a research paper." Her hard work is reflected in her excellent grade point average (GPA), and she still constantly pushes herself to improve. "I've been on the Dean's List since I've been in school, and I currently have a 3.85 GPA, but I won't be satisfied until I'm at a 3.9."
Her GPA is not the only evidence of her success - her community has taken notice, as well. In December 2010, she was awarded the PLIGHT, Inc. Excellence in Parenting Award. Read the Tifton Gazette's story about the award.
Galia says her life has changed for the better since she enrolled at Ashford. "I have great confidence in myself and knowing that I am close to completing my degree makes all the difference." To express her gratitude, Galia does what she can to tell others that their goals are possible. "I make sure Ashford University is part of the educational institutions listed under school announcements in our local newspaper, and I have had many people talk to me about Ashford. I tell them that it doesn't make a difference what kind of schedule you have or how busy you are. Ashford will fit into your life like a glove."
It's not just the flexibility of online learning that makes it possible, Galia explains - it's also the teachers. "Ashford has a top of the line program and instructors. They care for the students, and even though the courses are online, you build relationships with your instructors, just like you would if you were sitting in class." Galia looks forward to her 2013 graduation date, and says she might consider a Master's degree next, but for the moment she's content to keep setting an example for her kids. "I would like for them to take a good look at me and my will to rise above the many obstacles that I have encountered in my life, and realize that, with God and determination, all things are possible."