Monday, April 29, 2019

Support & Passion – How Amika Miller Earned Her Degree

Amika Miller is a single mother who, in 2014, was ready for a fresh start and a new chance to earn the degree she needed for the career change she desired. Amika was determined to be the first in her family to graduate, to lead her son by example and to fulfill a long-term personal goal. Amika knew she had the drive to get herself to the finish line, but she needed to find a place that would support her all around, especially with life’s continuous curveballs.

That is when Amika found Peirce College.

Amika first enrolled in Peirce College’s Associate in Science in Criminal Justice program eager to enter into a major she felt passionate about. “I chose the criminal justice program because I want to assist my community in any way possible, and I want to make a great impact on my community,” explained Amika.

After diving into the courses at Peirce and connecting with faculty and staff, Amika knew she had found the right place. She graduated with her associate degree in 2016 and wasn’t done yet.

Right away, Amika enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program knowing the higher she went with her education, the more likely she would be to reach her career goals. “Continuous higher education will make me more valuable to an employer and increase the odds that an employer will keep me around,” said Amika. This career attainment and retention were two of the top reasons that pushed Amika along.

Unfortunately, in 2016, Amika started to fall behind due to life’s unpredictability. She lost three close family members in a relatively short period of time, was raising her son on her own and felt frustrated and overwhelmed by life. Luckily, Amika had found the place of support she knew she needed. Dr. Shannon Begley, Peirce’s Dean of Academic Advising & Registrar, contacted Amika directly and talked through what was going on. Together, they created a plan to keep Amika on track for graduation.

“When I fell behind, Dr. Shannon Begley helped me, stood by me and cheered me on. Shannon and Peirce gave me something to look forward to and did not give up on me,” explained Amika. “I was at the worst possible point of my life and Shannon gave me another chance. To have someone supporting me and backing me up during such a hard time meant everything to me. I owe so much to Shannon and the Peirce community.”

And despite the hardships Amika faced, with the support of her Peirce family she was able to accomplish her goals. On June 11, 2019, Amika will be crossing the commencement stage once again earning her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Amika said her advice to anyone out there considering going back to school, but who may be facing life’s challenges is, “Life happens and when life happens don’t be afraid to ask for help. That request for assistance may be what gets you to your goals!”

Congratulations to Amika on all of her accomplishments! Peirce College is proud to serve students as dedicated and passionate as Amika Miller.