Eddie Henderson is a single father of two daughters living in a small town outside of Wichita, KS called Maize, known for its abundance of cornfields. Eddie dropped out of high school his junior year to start working, but earned his GED in his mid-20s and has worked in many industries since then. Most recently, before attending Ashford University, he was working in construction as a drywall laborer.
Maize is also known locally for something other than corn. “A lot of families have moved to Maize just so they can have their children attend Maize schools. This is why I moved here as well.” Eddie’s eldest daughter was born with velo-cardio-facial syndrome, a genetic issue dealing with the 22nd chromosome. “Maize has an awesome special education department and they have done an amazing job working with her.”
Witnessing this process made Eddie realize that he also wanted to pursue teaching – something he felt could provide a better life for his own children. “The only way I was going to get a better job was to pursue a higher education, but I really did not know if a single dad had any business starting college. Luckily, my Admissions Counselor listened to my doubts and fears, and she supplied me with the positive reinforcement to take a chance and pursue the college degree I had always wanted.”
Just three classes into his program, Eddie gained the confidence to apply to work at the local elementary school as a paraeducator for grades K-5. Shortly after, Aundrea reported, “Recently I received a call from Eddie with some very exciting news. He got the job and starts his new career in a few days! He had no previous professional teaching experience, but his education resonated strongly.”
Along with this dramatic career leap, Eddie has gained a whole new outlook on life. “Being at Ashford has given me self-confidence that I have lacked in the past. I would have never considered applying for the job as a paraeducator had I not first started attending classes at Ashford. I can now see that dreams are only dreams; goals are something a person has to work toward. Since coming to Ashford, I have stopped wondering what would or could have happened and now live a more realistic goal-driven life. There are no goals that I cannot reach as long as I am willing to work toward them.” We congratulate Eddie, and look forward to seeing how his new career path unfolds!