Military Wife Goes from Doubt to Debt-Free Degree

By Kathleen Moman

I recently celebrated my quarter-of-a-century birthday, and although that probably doesn't seem like much, I feel like I've been through a whirlwind. The last five years have made me grow up a little faster than I had anticipated.

I grew up in a great home with a "superwoman" mother and a hard-working dad. My mom homeschooled all of her four children through high school and my dad was our "principal." From a very early age, it was instilled in each of us that there is more than one way to learn. You can learn by doing, by watching, and by reading, and you can go slowly in some subjects and fast in others.

After high school, I desperately wanted to attend college, but I could not afford it. I began working as a receptionist at a company that graciously offered to cover my tuition as long as I studied business. At age 18, I was working full time and going to night school. Two years later I was married to a handsome Marine who was, and continues to be, my biggest supporter. Life as a Marine wife turned into a few moves and different jobs, all while trying to keep up with school. With the tuition assistance gone from my first job, I used scholarship after scholarship and some money out of my pocket.

A few months after my husband finished his time in the service, I finally graduated with my associate's degree. At that time, going for my bachelor's just seemed like a far-away dream. When I found out about WGU, my dream suddenly turned into a real-life goal! With the encouragement of my boss at Cummins Inc. (where I currently work), I enrolled and finished my B.S. Business Management degree in one year. During that time, I received tuition assistance from the company as well as a promotion at work.

I officially graduated in June of 2014 with absolutely no debt and a bunch of excitement! To top it all off, I was given the honor of presenting a commencement address where I was able to share my excitement with my fellow graduates. I feel like my time at WGU further instilled what my parents had taught me about learning—there is more than one way to learn.

I currently work as an Executive Assistant for the CEO of the Cummins Foundation and the VP of Corporate Responsibility. I am even being positioned to take another career leap within the next year. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of WGU and the unique learning platform that they offer. I hope that in the future more and more military spouses become aware of WGU and are able to achieve their educational goals while continuing to be the strong and steady women that they are.

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