"College has been the opportunity to redefine myself.  I originally worked in the IT industry for almost 20 years but after no longer enjoying the profession, I decided to enter college again to pursue a degree in Addiction Counseling.  Though I had pursued a technical degree earlier in life, I had never looked to get a higher degree until recently.  I knew that I wanted to grow as a person, and I knew that this could only happen by attending college again.  Through college I have been able to broaden my knowledge base, enabling me for greater opportunities and experiences.  College has given me the opportunity to be both a student and a teacher.  I have become a student tutor in a number of subjects, which has allowed me to give back some of the knowledge that I’ve accumulated in both life and my area of study.  I have been able to practice many skills that I will use in my new professions such has humility, servanthood, self-sacrifice, and teamwork.

Since reentering college I’ve become involved in Student Government and eventually LeadMN.  Through these organizations, I have been given the opportunity to help other students grow in their education and become a leader and role model in my community.  Through my student government, I have participated as the Directory of Advocacy and Vice President which has allowed me to advocate for local issues such as food insecurity, Get Out The Vote campaigns, lower textbook costs and zero-waste projects. Becoming part of LeadMN has allowed me to attend a number of leadership conferences, lobbying sessions, meetings with legislators, capitol visits as well as DC summits to pursue issues such as lower tuition costs and FAFSA simplification.  Only through the pursuit of my additional education and by joining these organizations do I feel that I could be making the difference I currently am, both at a local and national level.

My education is preparing me for who I want to be as a person.  It has been an environment in which I can learn from my mistakes in activities such as my current internship as well as through personal interaction with other students.  I have excelled all throughout my entire college scholastic experience and this has taught me that I can succeed when I put the proper time and energy into my pursuits.  It has also given me the ability to advocate for others that may not have been as fortunate as I have been.  The pursuit of higher education has made me a better person.  This is what my college experience means to me."


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