Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The family that studies together succeeds together

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Marketa and Carlos Johnson are attending
Peirce to improve their lives through education 
Many of our students find out about our programs through friends and family who've decided to come to Peirce, and we like to share some of their referral stories here on our blog. Today, we're highlighting the stories of mother and son, Marketa and Carlos Johnson.

Carlos decided to come to Peirce first. He always loved science and wanted to attend college right after high school to fulfill his dream of becoming a chemist. He entered our Healthcare Information Technology associate degree program in August 2012 as a full-time student.

His mother, Marketa, always wanted to earn a college degree. She had completed a year of college out of high school, but left because she needed a full time job to support her family. When Carlos chose to come to Peirce, Marketa took an interest in the College as well. She knew it was time to pursue her dream of earning a degree, giving her children the confidence they need to get their own degrees, while also doing something to make herself more marketable to potential employers. Marketa decided to enroll part time in our Business Administration program just a few months later.

Marketa and Carlos credit Enrollment Representative Karen Hun with making it so simple for them to register and start earning their degrees. Both are now attending Peirce College, and have found the experience has brought them closer. For instance, they often study together at home.

"We study different topics," Carlos says. "But if she needs help with her homework, I help her out and she helps me out. We both make sure we understand what's going on in each other's classes because we want to support each other."

Marketa says that her classes are very motivating. "They [Peirce professors] help you succeed," Marketa says. "The professors are not there to put you down -- they really care about us. I've had great experiences thus far and am looking toward greater experiences. I didn't want to go to a big university and get lost -- Peirce feels like family. This school has made me feel secure."

Carlos singled out one special professor who he feels really helps him succeed. "I work with Professor Stephanie Donovan and she is very helpful," he said. "She helps you understand that you're not alone and that it might be a struggle, but you're going to make it."

The pair also uses the support services at Peirce to their advantage. "The Walker Center really stands out," said Marketa. "During my first session of classes, I took remedial English because I wanted to be secure in my writing and needed a refresher. As a result, I attended a tutorial session with Caitlin in the Walker Center, and she really helped boost my confidence as a writer. Also, Vicki was very helpful -- she has lots of handouts for studying. They're both great people who really care."

Marketa and Carlos noted that they have more confidence in themselves and their abilities since beginning their degree programs. Their advice for others considering enrolling in college? Whether you're just out of high school or an adult learner, Carlos says, "It's absolutely possible. If you take the time out to really work at it and study, the sky is the limit. You can do it if you put your mind to it. And remember, you're not alone in this. We're all doing this together."

After he completes his degree at Peirce, Carlos plans to further his education to achieve his long-term goal of becoming a chemist. Marketa would like to use her degree to obtain a more advanced position in her field. "Many of my colleagues have a college education," said Marketa. "Because I lack in this area, it has been challenging to excel outside or within my position. When I complete my studies, I want to upgrade my position."

She also has big plans for helping others in her community. "I have a passion to help others," Marketa says. "Through various volunteer activities with my local church, I've been able to go to places like homeless shelters to distribute food. My husband and I have also mentored young couples. As a result, I would like to use my degree and expertise to help young mothers get back on track."

"Sometimes, life can distract you from your purpose and it is my hope to be a breath of fresh air to guide them, to let them know that you can achieve anything you want to," she says. "There's an old saying: It doesn't matter how you start, but it matters how you finish. I would like to go back into my community and find a way to help others succeed. I know it will be challenging, but we are all here for a purpose. Family means everything to me, and there are too many broken families. I'd like to help."

Both are grateful for their Peirce experience so far, and are looking forward to using their degrees to open more doors for themselves.

Many thanks to Carlos and Marketa for sharing their stories!

Remember, if you're a current student and have friends or family who want to attend Peirce, officially refer them through our Referral Program to receive a $25 gift card, be publicly thanked in our Referral Honor Roll, and receive a special edition Peirce College T-shirt.

If you have any questions about the Referral Program, or would like more information about becoming a Peirce student, give us a call at 888.467.3472, ext. 9000, or email us.