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Jessica Washburn

BA Psychology - Child & Adolescent Development, Class of 2017

"I feel more accomplished than I ever have before."

I became classified as physically disabled two years ago, and found myself unable to work and living back in my parents’ home. As an adult, raising a family of my own, this situation really brought me down. I was miserable. In November of 2013, I underwent a major operation, and then a week later was diagnosed with VTE, a combination of blood clots in the legs and lungs.

My doctors explained to me the severity of my situation, the potential of fatality and placed me on bed rest. For two months, I was confined to either my bed or my sofa, unable to do something as simple as cook a meal for my family.

It was during this period of my life that I made the decision that when, not if, I recovered from this, I would no longer allow myself to be okay with going nowhere in my life. It took the fear of death and leaving my family to motivate me to accomplish my dream of working with youth in crisis.

At the end of January, a CT scan showed that my embolisms had begun dissolving, and I picked up the phone to call SNHU. I started classes in March and have never felt better. Today, I am learning to control my physical disability, not be controlled by it, and I am enjoying working toward my degree.

Even though I have just started toward my dream, at thirty-one years old, I feel more accomplished than I ever have before. I liked my previous career, but my dream of helping youth was always in the back of my mind; I just didn't know where to start.

Today, I am on my way and the path seems clear. And the biggest success I see in my life, is the look on my nine-year-old's face when he asks me questions about school. He has started telling all of his friends, "My mommy's going to school to be a social; I'm so proud of her." I couldn't ask for a better reward than my child looking up to me. My dream career is just a wonderful bonus compared to my son actually being able to see his mother accomplishing her dreams.