We can’t believe it’s already May. It’s been an interesting year so far, but the Ashford* community has pulled together and proven that even when faced with the greatest of obstacles, our students are able to rise to the occasion and persevere.

This month, we celebrated our spring 2020 graduates in an unprecedented fashion by honoring their achievements in a virtual congratulations celebration. Their joy and appreciation is evident in the comments on the video we shared on the Ashford Facebook page, many even publicly declaring their commitment to return to Ashford for another degree. Be sure to check out the feedback in the feed, rejoice with our grads, and share some well wishes with them.

If you’re seeking even more words of encouragement, we’ve compiled this month’s list of #TenacityMade superstar insight to inspire you further to keep pushing to earn your degree. Check out what our students have shared and then get going on your goals!

student michael l.

1. “I graduated in 2012 with a degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I first went to college in 1974 and left in 1976 and joined the US Coast Guard (USCG). I was a Marine Science Technician specializing in meteorology and oceanography. I was stationed on the icebreakers Polar Star and Sea as well as International Ice Patrol to name a few. I eventually made CWO and finished my career as marine inspector. Upon retirement, I worked as a marine surveyor and auditor. My dream was always to obtain my degree. Ashford gave me the opportunity. My previous college as well as my training in the USCG counted toward my degree. I worked on my degree on a ship off Galveston, Texas, as well as hotel rooms all over the United States. The professors were amazing, and I learned so much. Ashford provided me the opportunity to fulfill my dream. 46 years later! I now work as a safety and compliance officer for a major oil company. – Michael L. 

2. “TenacityMade means to me never giving up despite my circumstances. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree with Ashford University, I walked about a mile each way next to a busy main road for several weeks to the community library so that I could continue pursuing my degree. I achieved my bachelor’s degree in 2015. Last year while pursuing my master's degree, I learned I was living with Lyme Disease. After a few tough months dealing with the news and deciding whether or not to continue pursuing my master's degree, I decided to continue and finished a few months ago. I am also a wife and mom and I wanted to show to my family how determined I was to push forward no matter what.” –  Tammy R.

3. “Tenacity describes me because to quit or fail is not an option! Every day is a new beginning with new goals to finish or work toward.” – Darlene P.

student lynette m

4. “I continue to work hard and push past life’s hurdles because I was told after I got my GED that I would never be able to go to college. I had my daughter in 2015 and pregnant with my son due in June. I wanted to show my children that even when you make mistakes in life that college is still possible. My children deserve to know that no person in the world has the ability to tell them that they cannot do something.” –  Lynette M.

5. “Being a disabled student as we as a nation have been put on isolation and social distancing practice puts in perspective how it feels to be disabled to some. With that being said, I push through this present time with tenacity to complete this master's degree looking to change me and my family’s future. It's all about determination and perseverance. I wish everyone wellbeing through this and future trying times and to fulfill all their dreams and never quit no matter the situation.” – Roy K.

student jeanette j.

6. “I continue to work hard and push past life's hurdles because I am determined to earn my degrees and become all that God said I would be!” – Jeannette J.

7. “I am staying grateful for the fact that my husband is staying actively at work since he's considered to be an essential employee. Granted, although I chose to take a few weeks out in order to readjust to a homeschooling platform for my high school daughter and my 5th grade daughter, I recognized when I began to feel overwhelmed and took the time off to readjust. However, I’m looking forward to pushing forward and continuing my education.‬ I realized that I would rather reduce my stress by taking time out to develop a new schedule so that both my children and myself can be successful in our studies than for all of us to lose the direction we've been in.‬ On a personal level, we've been taking this time to focus on the positives although the media shares a lot of negatives, seeing how many families are pulling together.  Although there seems to be some division, we stay focused on the positive knowing that this too shall pass." – Jacqueline D.

student joy cg

8. “I am blessed to work in an essential industry and have the ability to work from home. I need this because I have really bad asthma. The anxiety as of late has been causing asthma attacks, but I keep pushing forward, not for me but for my kids. Though older, they still live with me while in high school and college. This is my time to succeed for them, to teach them strength, dedication, and perseverance. Through me, I hope they learn that life may be tough, but we are tougher. We will rise! We will conquer. We will meet our goals. They see me work from home every day, then switch to Statistics for Managers in the evenings. Each day is one day closer to my graduation date of September 14, 2020. What they don't see is the anxiety, the stress, and the lack of sleep. They don't see how much watching them moves me forward and helps me keep going. They don't see that they are my inspiration day after day. They don't see that we are a team. Just like all the students at Ashford are a team, and we will succeed together!” – Joy C. G. 

9. “I continue to work hard and push past life’s hurdles because why settle! Keep learning and improving. It is not always an easy road. Showing my children regardless of age that if you can put your mind to it, you can do anything.” – Rachel G.

Ronda L.

10. “Graduating in October 2020 with a BA in eMarketing and a concentration in The Honors College, a stay-at-home mother of three. When I was in high school, I struggled and never thought college was possible. I returned to school for a few reasons; 1) I want to be able to financially contribute to my family and give my hard-working husband the break he deserves; 2) To show my children that anything is possible, if you set your mind to it.; 3) For my mother. She passed away in 2006, but I know she would be proud.” – Ronda L.  

Let’s give a big round of applause to this month’s #TenacityMade superstars. Feeling motivated to get your work done and reach your goals? Don’t forget to share why you keep pushing forward to earn your degree using #TenacityMade with your posts, images, and videos. Then, check back each month for another roundup of inspirational tales of triumph from your peers. 

* Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus

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