WGU has partnered with PopSugar to feature four fierce women who are succeeding in spite of the challenges life has thrown at them. By drawing on their passions, courage, and persistence, all of these incredible women earned WGU degrees that they have put to work for themselves, their families, and their communities.
We look up to these women as amazing examples of how hard work and dedication can pay off. We need role models like these women who show the world that when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
It's also vital to have the right tools and partners who are passionate about your success. WGU offers the flexibility, affordability, and support you need to finish your degree so you can find your success on your terms, for your life.
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Being diagnosed on the autism spectrum at 13 didn’t deter Natalie Mohn from going after her dream of being a special education teacher — a dream she’s had since she was 10. At WGU, Natalie found the online learning model that fit her needs and the program that she wanted. Today, she not only has her bachelor’s in Special Education but is pursuing her master’s degree.
“You are more than your circumstances.” That’s the phrase that finally gave Karla Ortiz-Flores the motivation she needed to enroll at WGU and pursue her M.S. in Management and Leadership. Karla was the only person in her family to leave Puerto Rico in search of higher education and a better life, and often struggled to feel that she was worthy of pursuing her degree. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, Karla faced an even bigger struggle: Keeping up with her coursework while coordinating aid efforts to her home — and desperately waiting for any news of her family. Karla’s educational journey with WGU, was not a straight path, but her WGU mentor helped support her personally when Hurricane Maria put her family in danger.
When Gussie Hopkins found out she was pregnant with her first son during her first semester of college, she knew she wouldn't be able to continue her education. But she vowed she would someday finish her degree program. Sixteen years later, she made that dream a reality at Western Governors University. Gussie used her positive attitude and determination to push through layoffs, health scares, relocating to another state, and more as she earned her bachelor's degree in business, IT management at Western Governors University.
Moving often was just a fact of life for veteran Sarah Aronack, so relocating to a rural community in Alabama for a military career didn’t faze her. Her master’s program at Western Governors University gave her the flexibility to study anywhere, after all. Little did she know that her coursework would have such an immediate impact on her new community. After taking a job as the Director of Nursing at a local hospital, she found out that she had 28-days to change the hospital’s policies or risk losing key Medicare and Medicaid funding, a move that would force the hospital to close. That enormous task became Sarah’s capstone project.
Read more about these amazing women on PopSugar...
“I would say as a non-traditional student, you’ve got to find your small victories, and you’ve got to just really believe in your purpose. You work for your purpose, your purpose always works for you.”
Country music singer/songwriter Angie Keilhauer earned her bachelor's degree in marketing management at WGU and learned to manage her own brand.
"There is nothing more exhilarating than being able to set a goal for yourself. And realize that you have successfully completed it."
Julie Young shares her story about how she overcame her own disability and found her passion to help her non-typical students.
“I am often the only women in a room, in a class, in any setting. It can be difficult to be seen or heard when you're just one woman in a room of hundreds of men.”
Sarah Merritt is the Air Force's only active-duty female cyber warfare instructor, setting a strong example and motivating other women to enter cybersecurity professions.
"If I weren't a NASCAR driver, I'd still be in the motorsports industry working in marketing."
After taking her first drive around a race track at eleven years old, Molly knew she would become a professional NASCAR driver. But her dream would not be realized without overcoming several challenges.
"If we don't keep women in the technology field, we are going to miss out on how women interpret how to solve problems."
Cybersecurity professional Kara Greer operates digital platforms for customers and also volunteers her time teaching education classes for aspiring women college students in the STEM category.
"Nursing is an amazing field. You can name your ticket... You have an amazing opportunity. Use it."
When veteran nurse Kristine Perry was called out to help an unconscious man who was slumped over the wheel of his car, the ensuing fight for his life taught her a lesson she’d never forget.
All of our degree programs are carefully chosen with success in mind. Our special model of online learning is designed for the working adult, and our commitment to keep costs down means the dreams of our graduates are within reach.