I have always liked school. I come from a large, poor family, so I knew that I would have to find a creative way to get to college on my own. I started attending college in 1985 and it took me 15 years to complete a degree at my previous community college.
I earned my degree the hard way--part-time between work, my family and my daughter's activities, and one class at a time. I graduated with honors. I always knew that if I just kept at it, I could achieve my goal.
In 2004, I enrolled in an accelerated adult cohort program at Benedictine University. It took two years to obtain my bachelor's degree in management, magna cum laude. I then went on to Aurora University and received a master's certificate in human resources.
Since 2010, I have been enrolled at Elgin Community College in the American Bar Association-accredited certificate in paralegal studies. I have enjoyed the instructors, my fellow students and the campus. I love coming to school here and I am going to miss it.
I feel that my education is an investment. It hasn't always been easy and I have had to make a great deal of sacrifices, but I have kept it up because of my love of learning.
-- Debra Frankford, Montgomery