Upcoming Graduate, Theresa Jones, Reflects Upon Her Journey
A campus that cares. That was the overarching testimony of Fall 2021 College of Business graduate, Theresa Jones, when asked about her unique experiences with Eastern Kentucky University’s e-campus and what coaxed her to take a leap of faith.
Theresa Jones graduated high school in 1990 at the age of 17, before the majority of those who occupy EKU’s campus were born. Fresh out of high school, she was at a crossroads. Jones wasn’t in a hurry to advance her education, although college was the ultimate goal for her. Having watched her parents successfully manage their own business, Jones learned a lot about entrepreneurship at a young age. When the corporate owners of the franchise affiliated with Jones' parents store approached her to run one of their businesses, she decided to jump-start her career without a second thought to college.
Finding success within her career, Jones put the goal of attending college on the backburner until 2016 when her children were older and her workload had decreased. At the time, her employer was offering 100% tuition payment for employees. Jones decided that she would take it slowly, one class at a time. Balancing her classload along with work and raising a family presented challenges. One evening, Jones received an email from a professor informing her that she was among their top three students in the class, which helped her realize that nothing was holding her back from succeeding.
Carrying a full classload into 2020, Jones worked hard to raise her GPA with nothing standing between her and the dream that had knocked on her door so long ago. Recently, her son was asked to write a paper about his role model in life. He told his mom that she was his inspiration because he had watched her journey.
With only a couple of weeks away from her ultimate goal, Jones contributes her success to a campus that cares, stating, "If it hadn’t been for EKU’s online program, I couldn’t have done it. With online, no matter what was going on in my life, I could carve time wherever I was able to carve it out. The professors cared about my education. They wanted me to succeed just as badly as I wanted to succeed. It’s hard to see that sometimes with online classes, but EKU’s professors made it obvious that they were there to push me forward, not to pull me back in that endless cycle of ‘Should I keep going or should I just give it up?’”
When asked what she would say to the person who is hesitant to take the leap, she responded with, “If you decide to do it, then you have to do it. You have to realize that the only thing stopping you is yourself. If it seems too big, take bite-sized pieces. Don’t let you stop you.” In conclusion, Jones said, "If a dream is knocking on your door, you answer it. The dreams that knock the quietest are the hardest ones to chase, but the reason they knock in the first place is because they need to be answered. Don’t stop until you’ve opened the door. After that, everything becomes a possibility.”
Published on November 15, 2021