I came to the United States from Panama in 1995 to make a better life for my kids. That included giving them a great education. I wanted to see them become successful.
I have a degree from Panama, but I needed a degree in this country in order to teach.
I am proud I have two children who graduated from Ohio Dominican University. Sheerlan graduated in 2011 with a degree in Communications, and Sheerlene got her degree in 2007, a cross-disciplinary bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Biology and Chemistry. Both are working on their master’s degrees.
Raising three kids as a single mom and sending them to college was not easy. When they were growing up, I always told them education was important. My girls liked ODU a lot, but when I saw the price, I didn’t know how we would do it. I thought, ‘I can’t afford this college.’
When I met the Financial Aid staff, they told me they would work with me. ODU did come through. I thank God for the people here; they have been wonderful to me. It can be done if you are willing to work hard and sacrifice.
After my daughters graduated, the school I work at encouraged me to go back and get my degree, and my kids said, ‘Mom, you can do it.’ So, I enrolled at ODU full time and my children jumped in to help me. My kids all said they would help me get through this, and they have all come through.
Ohio Dominican University has been a blessing for me and my family. The Financial Aid staff is so helpful and they communicate with me all the time. It isn’t easy, but if you set a goal and work at it together with the great people here, you can make it happen.
Donna teaches part-time with the Columbus Montessori School. She earned her degree in December 2013, and is now pursuing a full-time job as a Spanish teacher.