Spotlight: Shawanna


Shawanna is a single mother of three children who had dreams of becoming a physician’s assistant after receiving her Associates in Radiology. She tried taking classes periodically but eventually had to postpone her decision to complete her bachelor’s degree after experiencing challenges. After connecting with a ReUp Success Coach, she decided that finishing a BS in Business online would be a more fulfilling and rewarding experience that better aligned with her career aspirations.

Q.  How has working with a success coach affected you?

I use what we discuss in coaching to motivate and encourage me through many of the challenges I currently face. My coach has a soothing tone, straight-to-the-point view, and aspiring interest in my educational experience. She has been there for me to talk about my career choices, setting goals, and actively preparing myself for the semester. She connects with me on a weekly or biweekly schedule which makes me accountable to my goals and commitments in order to discuss with her in our next meeting. It’s as if I can’t let her down from what I needed to do. I appreciate it because I truly do not have anyone else that wants me to succeed except my three children. When I completed my Associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology, relatives and outsiders were jealous or naysayers.

Q . What are your goals for the future?

My hope and dream is to finally complete my bachelor’s degree. It took me a while to decide a major I would like and after our talks, a bachelor’s degree in business is what I am aiming to obtain through CUNY’s online course. As with most single parent’s stories, it isn’t easy raising children and attending school and work. But being in college actually is a place I run away from my home life. It’s about me, for me, and it makes me push myself harder. During exams, midterms, and finals I become overwhelmed, but I know I made a choice to improve my life and educate myself. It is a step to making a difference in my life, my children’s lives, and the generation afterward.

Q . What advice do you have for stopped out students who are considering going back to school?

I would tell incoming students the same thing; I have always encouraged anyone from high school, single mothers, ex-juvenile offenders, men, and people that reached the age that seems to have limits to go and explore college. Do not take on too much so soon, but if there is a goal or a desire to accomplish, try it.