Tiffani Flores pursued her education later in her career and persevered to prove to her daughters it’s never too late to achieve your goals. Along the way, she became a true champion of WGU. Her sister joined her as a WGU student, both earning their bachelor’s degree in business in 2018. With her encouragement, several family members—including her dad, colleagues, and friends enrolled in WGU, taking the next step toward attaining their educational goals. Today, Tiffani is a special education teacher for Keller ISD in North Texas.
Tiffani became a mother early in life and that fueled her drive to pursue her education. She wanted to be living proof that it’s never too late to earn your degree and pursue a career in teaching. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Tiffani enrolled in a master’s degree program with WGU. To help achieve her goals, she was recently awarded a $2,500 WGU Alumni Master’s Scholarship.
Tiffani shared her story about her experience with WGU in this Q&A.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been married for five years to my amazing husband, and we have four kids in our blended family. I spent my early career in full-time ministry, working as a children’s pastor, a worship leader, a daycare director, and more. I started this job just out of high school, and never required a degree. But after having two daughters I knew I wanted to go back to school and show them that it is never too late to make and reach your goals.
I enrolled in WGU when I was 28 and was able to finish my degree before my 30th birthday. During this time, I remarried, was raising four kids, and working full time. With the support of my family and the amazing structure of WGU, I was able to successfully earn my bachelor’s degree in just 14 months.
Soon after earning my business degree, I enrolled in an alternative certification program for teaching in Texas. I was able to get a job right away working in special education. I have been teaching for three years, and three years prior as a teacher's aide. I truly feel like I hit my stride! In April, I enrolled in a master’s program at WGU for new career opportunities that would move me out of the classroom and into a leadership role training teachers. I’m pleased to say that I have already accepted a job for next school year to do just that. WGU has changed my life.
How did you find WGU Texas and why did you choose our university?
I knew I wanted to earn my degree and get a teaching certificate. My husband had completed the Texas Teachers for alternative certification, and I reached out to them, explained my situation, and said, “I need to get a degree as quickly as possible. I need it to be accredited so that I can get a teaching certificate.” They recommended WGU.
Why did you decide to get your degree at this stage in your life?
I went to community college for one year after graduating high school. At 19, I married and had two children soon after. I was working full time and going back to school wasn't in the cards for me at that point in my life. After spending almost five years as a single mom I realized that I wanted the freedom that came with a degree. It opened so many doors and opportunities to be who I wanted to be and support my family. As soon as I remarried, my husband was so supportive of me following my dream of getting a degree. Because of his support and our goals I was able to jump right back in and get it done.
What does the scholarship mean to you and how do you view your studies or experience at WGU Texas?
I am so incredibly honored to have been chosen for this scholarship. I absolutely LOVE WGU. The structure and setup of this school were made for someone like me. It has allowed me to accomplish something that felt so big, and so hard. It has made education attainable for someone with a full life like mine.
I believe in this school and the amount of people I have referred is too numerous to count! I decided to go back to WGU to earn my master's and was willing to add to my student debt to help make it happen because I knew it would be valuable.
My husband and I are both teachers, so having $2,500 LESS debt is life-changing for us. That means fewer years for paying off loans. Thank you WGU!
What are your future career and life goals?
My current career goal is to move into a leadership position in the education system. I am already moving towards that goal in a new position next year and know that this master’s degree will only give me the tools and knowledge I need to go even further!
I have a passion for leading people, building teams, developing systems, and encouraging others. I want to be able to use those skills and passions in the best way possible.
Would you recommend WGU Texas to your family and friends?
Not only would I recommend WGU, but I have time after time! When I first decided to sign up for WGU I convinced my sister to do it with me. She and I both graduated in the winter of 2018 with business degrees. After watching us be successful many other members of my family were inspired to pursue their degrees as well. In my immediate family alone, I have five more people who are currently enrolled in WGU (my dad, stepmom, stepsister, and brother-in-law). I also have another stepsister who plans to enroll next fall. And I have a cousin who I referred who graduated last year and I also have referred several friends and acquaintances.
I am a true believer in the benefit of WGU, and the success it can bring!