Once she had her diploma in hand, Kathleen was encouraged to keep pursuing her education, and enrolled in the medical billing and coding program at Ashworth College. Although she was hesitant when she started, she found the inner motivation to make her goals a reality.
“I thought to myself many times that maybe I would not be able to [complete the program], but I told myself, ‘no, I can do it,’’’ she said. “I’ve learned that if you put your mind to what you are studying, you can do it.”
Kathleen credits her husband as being the biggest support in her life when she went back to school, especially during the times when she felt stressed and struggled to stay positive.
“One of the challenges was just coming home to study after work, then getting up to go to work again the next morning,” she said. But, her husband “would always say ‘you can do it!’ and motivated me along the way.”
While she leaned on her family for support during her time as a student, Kathleen also served as an inspiration in return, particularly to her daughter, who had previously dropped out of high school.
“When she saw me [go back to school], she realized she could do it too,” she said.
And she did — Kathleen’s daughter enrolled at James Madison and earned her high school diploma, just like her mother had done before her.
Kathleen completed the medical billing and coding program and celebrated her success at Ashworth College’s 2016 commencement ceremony. For now, she plans to work and gain experience. But, she knows education will continue to be a part of her life.
“Learning doesn’t stop here,” she said. “Learning is a constant experience. The more you experience you get, the further you can go.”
Her biggest piece of advice to other individuals who are considering enrolling in an online college program is to simply, “go for it. As long as you stay focused, you can be successful.”
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