Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Living My Wildest Dream

Webster defines dream as "a strongly desired goal or purpose." All my life my mother and I dreamed of my being the first female in my family to earn a college degree.

My journey as a college student began more than twelve years ago. I attended a large state university at first. Two major factors changed my college career path. One was the loss of my mother during my sophomore year. Once my mother had gone, I had to work hard to take care of myself. After proving myself a valuable employee, my company transferred me out of state to the largest unit in the district - in Atlanta. My path had detoured, but for my own good. Eventually, all roads led to Fort Valley State University.

While I was working in Atlanta, I met my wonderful husband, Robert. Before you knew it, we were married and blessed with our beautiful daughter, Robin. Sooner than I could get diaper changing down pat, my company moved me once again - this time to the Middle Georgia area.

We were doing well. I had a magnificent husband, a radiant bundle of joy, and I was on a career path in the company as a vested eight-year employee. However, something was missing. After taking a short vacation to spend time with Robin, I discovered that something: I had given up on the dream. As I looked into my daughter’s eyes I thought, “How can I tell her to reach for the stars and capture all her dreams when I have given up on mine?”

I came to FVSU as both a transfer and non-traditional student. My career was traded in for the roles of domestic engineer and scholar.

FVSU is a public institution. As I heard Dr. Rivers tell the crowd at the Fall 2007 Preview Day, “Anybody as the right to matriculate at The Fort Valley State University....”

That includes a married mother of two, or anyone else who strayed away from their intended college career path. Let FVSU light the way. The road wasn’t easy, but through the support of my family and the university, my goal was obtainable.

--Stacie Barrett works in the Office of Marketing and Communications at Fort Valley State University

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