I got my bachelor of arts degree in elementary education on May 6, 2012 at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It’s definitely been an eye-opening experience. I want to earn my master’s degree!

I’ve been going to school off and on for eight years now. It may be another four years before I get my master’s degree in education! My gram laughs and says, “You’re going to be an old lady by the time you finish school and start working!” I just laugh along with her.

In high school I had no plans to go on to college until my senior year when I figured life would hit me in the face and I had to take responsibility of my own self. I couldn’t imagine myself living at my grandma’s house at 40 years of age. I couldn’t be like my uncles who depend on her still.

I have the ambition and drive to do something great. I know that God has big plans for me. Sometimes I get confused and have to question my purpose in life. I figure since I live in the village, being a guidance counselor at school could be my purpose. There are so many youth that just stick around the village and choose to do nothing with their lives. They stay home at their parents’ or grandparents’ house playing video games or getting into mischief. I really don’t like seeing them waste their youth and opportunity to be great at something.

I think that everything happens for a reason. I would not be the same person if my parents did not split up when I was a young teen. If they were still together, I would not have moved to my grandma’s. If I did not move to my grandma’s, I would not have gone to Mt. Edgecumbe High School. If I had not gone to Mt. Edgecumbe, I wouldn’t have gone off to college. If I had not gone to college, I would accept a low-wage, dead-end job. I wouldn’t have aspirations or value hard work. I would not be the independent individual I am today. My parents have been separated for 13 years now and I have definitely grown since then.

Now that I have two children of my own, I try my best to set a good example for them. My older son, Keane, always asks me if I am going to work or if I’m in my class. He always knows when I’m not working I’m in my online class. He will be starting kindergarten this fall and I know he will do great. When he first went to school at three-years of age, he walked into the classroom with a big smile and you could tell he was really excited to be with his classmates and teacher. I’m really glad that he loves school. It’s a good feeling knowing that your child enjoys learning and seeks more knowledge outside of school.

My two boys are all the reason for me to continue with my education. I’d like to give them everything that I never had growing up. I think an education is the greatest gift anyone can receive. If I can pass on that message to my own children as well as the children in my village, then my purpose will have been fulfilled.

My sons, Keane and Brian are growing up faster than I can keep up with.