Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Featured Learner: Timmi Kilgore ’16

Getting Started
Education isn’t a journey that begins at point A and ends at point B.   Many people will find detours, stops, and other challenges along the way.  What matters in the end is how you get back on track, and how far you go.

Timmi Kilgore first started on her path to higher education at Peirce College in 1983 when it was still a junior college.  She described herself at the time as “young, and a little immature.”  It wasn’t the right time in her life to pursue her education.  After a year, she ended up leaving Peirce.   

Going back
Since then, Timmi’s built a career in healthcare, become the proud mother of five children, and a grandmother to six.  Despite constantly drilling into her children and grandchildren the importance of going to school and continuing their education, she still lacked her degree.  In 2010, she decided it was time to change that. 

“In 2010, I got tired of just preaching about education.  I decided I couldn’t tell my children to do something that I still haven’t done,” Timmi explained. “I got up the courage to go back to school.”

Thinking about balancing earning her bachelor’s degree after being out of school for nearly three decades, Timmi had to be sure that she picked the right college to continue her studies at.  That’s when she remembered Peirce.

“I toured many other schools and tried to make a decision on where to go, and then remembered Peirce College. Peirce wasn’t a junior college anymore. It had turned into a four year school , offering bachelor’s degrees.  They even had a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, which is what I’ve built a career in.  Without hesitation I signed up and decided to return to Peirce College."

When she first came back to school, Timmi faced some of the same challenges many of our students face when they add a bachelor’s degree to their already full plate. However, with hard work, perseverance, and determination, Timmi quickly started to soar.  “I’ve won awards for academic achievement, and I’m currently on the President’s List,” Timmi shared of her achievements.

Going forward
Timmi decided her bachelor’s degree would only be the first stop on her education journey.  She decided to make it her goal to earn a graduate degree, and Timmi’s timing was perfect.  Peirce College launched their inaugural Graduate Studies degree program in 2013, and subsequently established its unique Grad Scholars program that allowed students to earn graduate studies credits while they simultaneously finished their undergraduate degrees.  That’s how Timmi is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration this June, with graduate studies credit already under her belt.

Earning her bachelor’s degree is a huge accomplishment for Timmi, but the example she’s setting for her children is even more important for her.

“I will be the example that I’ve always talked to my children about.  This June, they’ll definitely be able to appreciate the benefits of hard work and dedication when they watch their mother walk down the aisle and accept her diploma.”

Going far
It’s hard to deny the impact that school has had on Timmi’s life, or the deep connection she feels with Peirce.   

“I feel like I am Peirce,” Timmi explained.  “I have been part of Peirce’s evolution from junior college, to college, and now into a college that offers graduate studies.”

After graduation, Timmi plans to continue to excel in her chosen field of healthcare administration; and she says she has Peirce to thank.  She’s learned a lot of valuable skills while earning her bachelor’s degree, but the most important lesson Timmi took away from her experience goes beyond classroom or career opportunities.

“This journey has been priceless.  There have been many bumps in the road, but I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences because they all made me the woman I am today,” Timmi said. “I am grateful for the opportunity and the privilege to be a part of Peirce’s legacy. This journey has taught me that it’s never too late to achieve your dreams and that the sky is the limit.  You just got to believe.”

For more information on how you can earn a bachelor’s in healthcare administration at Peirce College, click here