Telling someone your biggest regret can be difficult — especially when the person asking is your 8-year-old son.
But when Angela Smith faced that scenario, she knew her answer was clear.
“I realized it was not finishing my degree at the traditional age,” Angela said. “Despite all the things I had been able to accomplish, it still felt like there was something lacking.”
Without missing a beat, her son said, “So do it.”
So she did.
Before entering JSC’s External Degree Program (EDP, now called JSC in Your Community), Angela was already working full time and raising a family. On top of this, she was also the Vermont chapter co-founder of Bright Pink, a nonprofit focusing on breast and ovarian cancer awareness.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be at the right place at the right time,” said Angela, who is now working toward her master’s degree. “I always liked learning and challenging myself and in the workplace that has always led to another opportunity.”
Angela worked one-on-one with her EDP advisor to gather previous college credits and life experience to tailor-fit a degree program that would work with her schedule. By combining on-campus lectures at Johnson State with an array of online courses, she completed her degree within two years.
“All of the teachers I had who taught online felt like a real classroom and a community and made people feel connected, even though we never met in person,” Angela said.
The decision to go back to school needed to be meaningful and have impact. For Angela, that was immediately nurtured at Johnson State.
“The whole process was incredibly empowering,” Angela said. “EDP and Johnson gave me the confidence to think about something more.”