Single mom breaks fear barrier, seeks career

May 24, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.

The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from The Victoria College "What's Your Story?" scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, "How has The Victoria College changed your life?" Winners of the contest, received a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

Life is full of uncertainty, especially for a young single mom. At first, the thought of college seemed very intimidating. However, I have learned that through perseverance and determination, all things are possible. The Victoria College has changed my life because it has given me the inspiration to achieve success and confidence to pursue my dreams.

In my sophomore year of high school, I was blessed with a baby girl. But, with this blessing came many doubts. This beautifully, helpless child was completely dependent on me, and all I could feel was fear. I had no idea what our future would be like. I wondered how I could support her when I could barely support myself. This little baby in my arms deserved all the resources and opportunities life had to offer. Yet I was the provider with little to provide. Early on, I decided that I must get an education and went back to high school. I graduated with honors and ranked in the top five students of my class. I was proud of myself, but a high school diploma alone was not enough to ensure a decent living. Once again, our future seemed uncertain. Then I discovered Victoria College.

As a first generation student, college seemed like an overwhelming obstacle. My apprehension was put to rest when I met with a counselor who ensured me that I had the capability and will power to start on the path to success. She encouraged me to set goals and stop at nothing to accomplish them. I was wary about taking on a full-time course load but quickly found inspiration in the students around me. There were other single moms, just like me, who juggled family life, long research projects, jobs and countless hours of studying. I knew that if they could do it, I could too. Since my time began at Victoria College, I have learned that higher learning is not an obstacle but a precious opportunity to attain a brighter future for my daughter and me.

Victoria College has opened countless doors in my life. As a teen mom, I felt like I was doomed to become a statistic. Enrolling at VC made me realize that all the opportunities in the world were at my fingertips. In my On Course class, I learned that I must be a Creator, not a victim of circumstance. Now, I have the confidence to dream big and the resources to make those dreams a reality. I still get anxious before an exam, but feel nothing but excitement and thrill when registering for classes. I have truly discovered a lifelong love and passion for learning.

Being a student at Victoria College has inspired me to accomplish more than I ever thought was possible. Now, my little family's future is anything but uncertain. I have achieved a 4.0 grade point average and have been placed on the Dean's List. My ultimate goal in life is that when my daughter becomes my age, she will look back and be proud of everything her mom has accomplished. I hope that others can learn from my story, so that they can start on their own path to success. I am proud to say that I am a Victoria College student and could not imagine getting my start anywhere else.

Elena Glidewell was one of three Victoria College students who won a $1,000 scholarship for writing personal stories.



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