Twenty-four years ago, WGU Graduate Tammy Ramsey graduated from high school and put college plans on hold to get married. Her husband had a career with the railroad, and she worked part-time while making a home for her two stepchildren. Six years later, her daughter was born prematurely, and Tammy quit her job to become a stay at home mom. Although life was great, the dream of college and earning her degree was always in her mind.
When her daughter started school, Tammy went back to work as an elementary school paraprofessional, but soon after, life threw her family a curveball. Her husband became sick and unable to work, and her mother became paralyzed from the waist down . “I knew the time had come for me to step up to the plate and do what I had to for my family. It was time to go back to school and earn that degree,” she said.
Tammy enrolled at the local community college and took night classes while working a full-time job. After four years, the rigid schedule and slow pace started to take their toll. “I felt like I was getting nowhere and needed a way to accelerate my degree program. That is when I heard about Western Governors University. It sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to finish my teaching degree .”
Tammy began the B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies program in May 2006. One of the biggest advantages of attending WGU was the relationship she had with her mentor. “I can’t say enough good things about my mentor,” she said. “He became more than just a mentor to me; he was my cheerleader.”
One of her fondest memories was a conversation she had one night with her him about what she needed to do to finish her term. Feeling overwhelmed, Tammy asked him how she could possibly get it all done. He responded “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” A few days later she received a package in the mail. It was a jar of barbeque sauce with a note: This will make that elephant taste better.”
“WGU has helped me achieve a lifelong dream of becoming an elementary teacher, and I will begin a new career this August. As a 41-year-old wife and mother, WGU has taught me that no matter your age or situation, your dream is achievable,” she said. “WGU has changed my life for the better.”