While pursuing an elementary education and special education degree at WGU Indiana, Camille Comet found her niche in the classroom. She loves being around kids, addressing their unique needs and witnessing those moments when new material finally clicks. Although Camille’s passion certainly wasn’t lacking, hardships became plentiful when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In the middle of pursuing her degree at another university, Camille decided to leave school after losing her job and preparing to bring her first child into the world.
Shortly after, Camille applied to WGU Indiana where she was awarded the 10th Anniversary Scholarship, aiding in her ability to complete her degree. While balancing life as a student and a new mother isn’t easy, Camille wanted to do what was best for her family and knew that completing her degree would ensure long-term security and stability. More than that, having a child fueled Camille’s passion for teaching. Her son gave her a whole new sense of understanding of what learning and education really means.
What life lessons have you learned this past year that you plan to apply to your education and teaching career?
More than anything else, I’ve learned how to be diligent this past year. School has always been a priority for me, but there are times when it’s easy to put it on the back burner, especially when life throws you curveballs. An unplanned pregnancy in the middle of a global pandemic was anything but easy, but I learned that as long as you’re diligent, you can reach goals despite what life throws at you.
What are your post-grad career goals in education?
My goal is to be available when and where there are student needs. As someone who didn’t have the financial stability others have, I understand students who need a little push or support. My job is to advocate on behalf of those students to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.
What advice would you give someone eager to pave a new career path but perhaps facing barriers to doing so?
I would say that you just have to keep it up. Find ways to hold yourself accountable by doing things like writing down your goals and priorities. It’s easier to stay on track if your commitments are in front of you. If you’re reminded every day, you’re more likely to meet your goals and ensure your priorities are in line.
Anything else you’d like to share with fellow WGU Indiana students, alumni, or prospective students?
To the mothers who are going to school, stay-at-home moms, or working moms: We can do this. WGU has offered so many ways for me to go at my own pace at my own time, all while still holding me accountable. It’s completely possible to get a degree while being a mother, even after losing your job during a pandemic.
Camille Comet is not the only woman who lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women make up the majority of the industries that were hit the hardest economically. More than 2.3 million women across the nation left the workforce due to either losing their job or losing childcare. The effects of this downturn are still prevalent, with 1 in 11 Latina women and 1 in 12 Black women still facing unemployment. WGU Indiana hopes to empower more women to take steps toward rebuilding their careers in this time of difficulty.