Don't ever, ever give up your goals, your dreams, your desire to learn!
Lucia Bartoli of Dana Point, California, has had an adventurous life. A world traveler, she studied languages at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. Just before completing her degree there, she received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work as a translator and personal assistant to a powerful politician. She chose to leave school early to start her career, and got to travel throughout Central and South America. Later, she went to work for Alitalia Airlines, a job which afforded her a lot of travel to Italy.
Bartoli is now a grandmother of four, a volunteer in her community, and an alumnae of Ashford University. For the past fifteen years, Bartoli has volunteered her talents for The Innocence Project, a group comprised of attorneys who help innocent people who have been unjustly convicted of crimes they did not commit. "Helping innocent people gain their freedom, when it is deserved, gives me a good feeling. My dream is to earn my living at it," she explains. She wants to continue her studies, all the way up to a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. She intends "to work in profiling, jury selection, and expert witness testimony." But to achieve these goals, she first had to complete that Bachelor's degree.
"That piece of paper means a great deal to me," Bartoli says. "It represents dedication, study, tenacity, and a benchmark in one's life." So in 2008, she began to look into the possibility of an online degree program. "I researched way more than I needed to – and Ashford really fit the bill." As soon as she realized how affordable and convenient Ashford's online degree programs are, she decided to register right away.
"I really like the fact that there is a real campus back there in Iowa," she says, "and that I will be able to go there to do a graduation." But Bartoli says she loves the flexibility and convenience most of all. "Ashford's five-week approach really makes it easy to get through the schedule. If you have a class that is a real struggle, then you just give it all you've got for those five weeks, then it is DONE and you move on." Bartoli also mentions how much fun she has had getting to know her fellow online students. "I get my coffee, sit down in my pajamas, and post comments. I find it easy and fun to post on more than just the two required posts per discussion."
To anyone considering whether or not to enroll at Ashford, Bartoli says: "Don't ever, ever give up your goals, your dreams, your desire to learn! And when you DO start your first course, please DO use spell check!"
After we first spoke with her, Bartoli wrote us the following: "I discovered that I had breast cancer. The good news is that my surgeon got it in time. Another month and I would have been facing a dramatically different scenario. I am completing five days of radiation therapy and consider myself very blessed. I started an online journal, and so far seven young women have written to me. We need to ensure that women get those mammograms and avoid being intimidated, frightened, or silly about a disease that is highly treatable." As of February 2011, she reported reaching the 14-month all clear from breast cancer and was more determined than ever to earn her Bachelor’s.
Since we last heard from her, Bartoli earned two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Social and Criminal Justice and one in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts in Organizational Management, Public Administration specialization in 2014 at age 69. Congratulations Lucia!