Gabrielle Oliver

BA Psychology - Mental Health, Class of 2018

"Without the support of family, friends and my SNHU advisor, I wouldn’t have pushed through."

Over the years, I have encountered many obstacles on my road to education. This year has by far been the most intense. In the last eight months I faced homelessness, separation from my children, joblessness, not to mention being nine months pregnant and losing my precious son all while attending SNHU. Still I needed to plan his funeral, attend my class, be present and pass my course.

I recall watching the SNHU commercials and deciding if I would give college another try in December. “This time would be different, and I would be committed,” is what I would say to Katie, my academic advisor, just before my first term at SNHU in January. I never imagined that commitment would be tested so soon into my college career. Due to the upcoming expected delivery of my son, I had asked my instructor, Thomas McCarty, for an extension on my assignments during week four of my psychology coursework. With the extension approved, I went into labor on January 28, 2014. That day changed my life forever. After nine months of healthy pregnancy, I birthed my son, Landon Noel Outen, as a stillborn. Devastated and ready to unsubscribe from life, I still had to push through knowing that I had three other children waiting to reunite with their mommy.

After celebrating his life, I returned back to school and worked reluctantly through the course. I passed. It was bittersweet, but I had made it. Now I am assured in my faith, and know that success is not based on strength or speed, but one’s ability to endure. Life will happen, continuing to test our tenacity and will. But if you can just hold on, you will find strength deep inside of you that you may not have known was there, until you were tested. I do know that without the support of family, friends and my SNHU advisor, Katie Gordon, I wouldn’t have pushed through.